Stephen Hackett at 512pixels.net recently published a very helpful article about securing your Mac computer. A combination of passwords, encryption, and synchronization can provide a solid layer of protection for your data. It’s also important to secure your desktop when you step away. Whether it be a meeting, a trip to the restroom, or the end of the day, leaving your computer on can create an opportunity for unauthorized people to access your information. For a Mac computer, there are two steps needed to set up a quick way of preventing access while away:
Step 1 - Screensaver Hot Corner
In System Preferences, go into Desktop & Screen Saver. Select the Screen Saver tab. Click the Hot Corners button in the lower right. Pick a corner to Start Screen Saver. I usually choose the lower left corner since there aren't that many control buttons to click on down there.
Step 2 - Require Password after Screen Saver Begins
Back in System Preferences, go into Security & Privacy. In the General tab, click the box to Require password after sleep or screen saver begins. I usually choose 5 seconds, because there are times when I actually mouse down to the lower-left portion of my screen, and I don't want to re-enter my password immediately after the screen saver initiates.
Now you can simply drag your mouse to the lower left portion of the screen and walk away knowing your desktop is secured from unauthorized use. Your local password to be needed to get back into your desktop. And hopefully you have a strong, secure password as well.