Locking your screen when you get up from your desk is a security action that is often overlooked.
Many organizations have a policy which will automatically lock your screen with a screen saver after a certain amount of inactivity.
Hopefully that screen saver is a password protected one. This means you need to enter your password to get out of the screen saver.
Failing to lock your screen when leaving your desk can open you up to a couple of different vulnerabilities, some more serious than others.
If you get up from your desk for 5 minutes, a lot of things can happen. Lets assume a coworker sits down at your desk as soon as you get up.
- Files can be downloaded from the internet and executed on your computer (malware, spyware, keyloggers, etc)
- Emails can be sent as you to coworkers, your boss, business contacts
- If you save passwords in your browser (another no-no), they now have access to your online banking, facebook, etc
Locking your workstation before you get up from your desk is very simple, and it can prevent you from ending up in a bad situation
Here are some ways you can lock your workstation
- Pressing the Windows Key + the L key at the same time on your keyboard
- Pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del then choosing Lock This Computer
- On Windows 7, click on the bottom left corner of the desktop (where the start button was in XP), then click the arrow next to Shut Down and choose Lock
I prefer method one since it is two easy keys to remember.
Get in the habit of locking your screen. If anything, it will prevent coworkers from sending prank emails from your account!