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Protect your Windows computer
You probably lock your phone when you put it in your pocket without thinking, but what about your computer? The same principle applies – always lock your device.
Even if you trust the people around you, all it takes is a passing glance for someone to cause serious damage. This is especially true if you work from home and have sensitive business information on your computer.
Here are some ways to lock down your Windows PC:
• To hit Window + L to lock your computer in one step.
• Press Ctrl + Alt + Delthen select the Lock option.
• Click the Begin button, then select your user icon and press Lock.
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Make it easy for yourself and set your computer to lock automatically after a certain amount of inactivity. On a Windows machine:
• Open Settings and go to Personalizationthen select Lock screen.
• Click on Screen saver settings and select any option (except None) from the Screensaver drop-down menu.
• Set a timeout for Windows to wait before locking. A few minutes should be enough.
• Check the box to On resume, show connection screen then press ALL RIGHT.
You can also set your PC to automatically lock when you step away from it. Windows uses devices paired to your PC via Bluetooth to help detect when you’re away. Awesome.
First, you need to pair your device. Your phone is a good choice since you’ll probably pick it up when you get up. Find instructions for pairing any device to Windows 10 here and Windows 11 here.
Once your phone is paired to your computer, here’s how to set your computer to lock when it detects your phone has moved away:
• Select Begin > Settings > Accounts > Connection options.
• Select Dynamic lockingthen select the Allow Windows to automatically lock your device when you’re away check box.
• Take your phone with you when you are away from your PC, and it will automatically lock about one minute after you are out of Bluetooth range. Note that Bluetooth range may vary. Run a test to find the distance at which your computer locks.
There are plenty of things built into your computer’s settings to keep you safe – if you know where to look. Here are some essentials for Windows PCs and Macs.
Lock your Mac
Using a Mac? Here are some of the different ways to lock your screen.
• Choose apple menu > Lock screen.
• Tap Touch ID if available on your Mac or Magic Keyboard.
• Press the Lock screen if available on your Magic Keyboard.
• To use hot cornerswhich allow you to take action when you move your mouse pointer to the corner of the screen:
• Choose apple menu > System Parametersthen click Desk and docking station.
• Click on hot corners and click the context menu for any corner and choose Lock screen.
• Click on Do. When you move your pointer to that corner, your screen locks.
Apple’s smarts: Use this advanced search trick to find anything on your Mac.
To set your computer to automatically lock after a period of inactivity:
• Choose apple menu > System Preferences.
• Click on Desktop and screen saver > Screen saver.
• Use the slider to choose a time.
• Click on Display all to get back to basics System Preferences window.
• Click on Securitythen click Require a password to wake this computer from sleep mode or screen saver.
• Close the System Preferences window.
Here’s how to set your Mac to log out when not in use:
• Choose apple menu > System Parameters.
• Click on Privacy and Security > Advance.
• To light up Log out automatically after inactivity.
• Click the Sign out after the context menu, then choose the delay before your automatic disconnection.
What about laptops?
Your laptop may lock automatically when you close the lid, but first you need to get into the habit of locking it. You can’t fully lower the lid, and locking your computer every time you walk away is good practice, so make it a habit.
You don’t leave your phone unattended, do you? Anyone passing by could slip it into their pocket. I know it’s obvious, but even a locked phone is still a liability to your privacy and security.
The same goes for laptops and tablets. If you’re in a cafe, it’s not the same as at work. Don’t leave them unattended! Packing your computer to run to the bathroom can be annoying, but it’s worth it.
The same applies to flash drives. You can encrypt them, but the temptation for a scammer to take yours or lose it is too great.
Keep your technological know-how
My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today”. It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from across the country. Look for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click the link below for a recent episode.
AUDIO TECHNOLOGY UPDATE: $12/mo from Facebook, $10/mo from Uber just to use apps, and Jeff Bezos’ favorite breakfast (that’s super weird!)
Plus, I talk with a guy who 3D printed a QR code for his father’s grave, tell you why Temu isn’t the best, and give you steps to start your own online resale business. And you’ll learn how to dispose of an old computer the right way.
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Discover all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For his daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit his website at Komando.com.