As the final installment on our series of articles about cyber security for October (Cyber Security Awareness Month), we bring you this simple tip, helping you to set your computer to automatically lock.
Unless you're in a private office, you should configure your computer to run a screen saver that will automatically lock your screen after a short period of inactivity and require a password to unlock it. This will prevent unauthorized individuals from viewing your private information or exploiting access to your computer in your absence.
Microsoft and Apple both provide built-in screen savers with locking capability. To enable the screen saver and turn on the locking feature, follow the directions provided in our Security Handbook for your specific operating system.
Additionally you can manually lock your screen using one of the following methods:
- On Windows, you can manually invoke the screen saver (thereby locking your computer) any time you leave your work area by pressing the Windows logo key (near the space bar) and typing 'L'.
- On the Mac, you can invoke the screen saver manually by moving the mouse to the hot corner you set up for that purpose (see instructions above).
The New School recommends that all computers, whether owned by the university or by individual faculty, staff, and students and excluding those in classrooms and computer labs, be configured to invoke a locking screen saver after 15 minutes of inactivity. Individual faculty, staff, and students are responsible for configuring the computers they use to enable the locking screen saver.
For additional information about cyber security, you may want to refer to the Security Handbook on our website for more information.