SSMT #105: Lock Your Screen (Do It Manually or Set It On Auto)

by | Mar 9, 2023

Suppose you’re typing an important document when you suddenly need to get up from your desk and make a trip to the restroom.

While you’re away, someone not authorized to see what you left open on your screen plops down in your empty chair, copies the document to a USB drive, and slithers away before you return.

Or, worse, instead of stealing the document, this individual inserts a USB drive containing highly destructive malware and uploads the harmful programming.

To make it harder for bad stuff like this to happen, always lock the screen before stepping away from your Mac.

Once the screen is locked, no one can access your system without first supplying the correct login credentials. No one will even be able to see what you were working on because all that shows up is your default screensaver.

Here’s how to lock your Mac screen:

Option 1: Click the Apple icon at the top left corner of the screen and choose “Lock Screen.” This causes your computer screen to lock instantly.

Option 2: On your keyboard, press “Control” + “Command” + “Q” at the same time. This will likewise instantly lock your computer screen.

You can also configure your Mac to do an auto lock. This occurs whenever the computer notices it’s been a while since you moved its cursor or hit a key. The system interprets that inactivity as you having stepped away without remembering to lock the screen manually.

Here’s how to set up auto lock:

  • Open “System Preferences”
  • Click on “Security & Privacy”
  • Toggle to the “General” tab
  • Check the box titled “Require password”
  • Choose “5 seconds after sleep or screensaver begins”
  • Select “Desktop & Screensaver”
  • Toggle the slider to the “Screensaver” tabToggle the slider to the “Screensaver” tab
  • Choose how long the system will wait from the start of inactivity to the time it enters sleep or screensaver mode

Best practice: set the auto-lock start-delay for no longer than five minutes. Anything beyond that time significantly increases the risk of bad stuff happening.

Okay, so listen up folks. Leaving your notebook computer unattended in a public place is basically like giving it away for free! It’s like saying, “Hey, anyone who wants a fancy new laptop, come and get it!” Not only that, but your precious data and personal info could be gone forever. It’s like losing your wallet, but with way more important stuff in it. And let’s not forget that leaving your computer unattended in public makes it a prime target for the sneaky little thieves that roam around. So, do yourself a favor and keep an eye on your computer like it’s your first-born child. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.