How to Enable a Locking Screen Saver

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.

Enabling the Screen Saver

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 below for your specific operating system.

Windows 7

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel. In the "Control Panel" window, select Appearance and Personalization and then select Change screen saver (under "Personalization").
  2. In the Wait box, choose 15 minutes.
  3. Check the On resume, display logon screen check box and then click OK.

Windows Vista & Windows XP

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel. In the "Control Panel" window, select Display and then select Screen Saver.
  2. In the Wait box, choose 15 minutes.
  3. Check the On resume, password protect check box and then click OK.

Mac OS X

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. Click Desktop & Screen Saver.
  3. Click Screen Saver, and then use the slider to choose 15 minutes.
  4. Optionally, set up a hot corner to let you invoke the screen saver manually:
    1. Click the Hot Corners button
    2. Click the list next to the corner of the screen you want to use as a hot corner and select "Start Screen Saver," and then click OK.
  5. Click Show All to go back to the main "System Preferences" window.
  6. Click Security, and then click Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver.
  7. Close the "System Preferences" window.

Manually Invoking the Screen Saver

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).

Applicability

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.

Responsibility

Individual faculty, staff, and students are responsible for configuring the computers they use to enable the locking screen saver.