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Desktop Computers

Screen Saver Password

The first step in protecting your desktop computer is to up a screen saver password. Password protecting the Windows screen saver is "locking" the desktop. When you step away from your desk, the computer is locked or logged off. To set a screen saver password:

  1. Right click on the desktop. Make sure to miss any icons.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Select the Screen Saver tab.
  4. Select a screen saver from the drop-down list.
  5. Check On Resume, Password Protect.
  6. Make sure the wait time is no more than 10 minutes.

An easy way to turn on the screen saver is the Windows Key – L. The Windows key is the key located between the CTRL and the ALT key on the bottom left of your keyboard. If you have any questions, contact the Technical Support Center.

Closing an Active Window

Use Alt-F4 to close an active window. This is useful for malicious pop-ups because it allows you to close the window without clicking on the ad or the link. It's also useful for a window that doesn't have an X to close it. The equivalent command on a Mac is CMD+W.

Deleting Files

Deleting files may not be enough to protect data. When you upgrade to a new computer at home, make sure your old hard drive is properly wiped clean of old data.

Simply deleting information from a computer hard drive does not necessarily get rid of it. Deleting it only frees up the space so it can be overwritten with new data.

Unless the hard drive has been subject to an erasing utility or it has been physically removed from the computer and destroyed, the likelihood is that someone could retrieve information from it. That can lead to data and identity theft.


  • Never leave your laptop unattended.
  • Utilize a security cable or similar device and attach it to a solid fixture, such as a desk.
  • Never check your laptop as luggage.
  • Consider using a backpack instead of the standard laptop case.
  • If you have confidential data, consider storing the data on the network and access it through WebVPN.

Handheld Devices

Be careful before you resell or give away your handheld devices such as cellphones and PDAs. The new owner can uncover your data. At a minimum, figure out how to reset it to the factory standard. Refer to your manual or call the manufacturer for more information. Read more online.