Added security for your desktop

Do you deal in sensitive information?  Private?  Paranoid?  Cautious?  Then this tip is for you!

In this tutorial i will demonstrate a quick and easy way to help protect any sensitive data from prying eyes or passersby.

padlock menubar

padlock menubar

Allow me to draw your attention to the padlock icon showing in the menubar above.  By clicking on this icon i can very quickly send my computer into screen saver mode and, whats more, the user will be required to enter their login password to be able to exit the screen saver.  This effectively locks your desktop while keeping you logged in and all of your documents and applications open, untouched, and secure!

Here’s how you can get a padlock icon of your very own…

How to turn on screen locking in OS X

This option is buried in the preferences for an underused but very useful little application that comes with OS X called Keychain Access.  So the first step will be to find and launch Keychain Access.

1.  In the Finder, navigate to your Applications folder (ctrl + shift + A) and find the Utilities folder.  Keychain Access lives in there.

2.  Once inside Applications > Utilities.  Double-click Keychain Access to launch the app.

3.  Open Keychain preferences by clicking on the the Keychain Access menubar item and selecting Preferences… or by using the keyboard shortcut (command + ,)

keychain access preferences

keychain access preferences

4.  As shown in the above image, there is an option to “Show Status in Menu Bar”.  Check that one.  VOILA!  The padlock should magically appear in your menubar.

padlock menu

padlock menu

5.  Now you can easily protect your desktop and any sensitive info without having to completely log out of your account by simply clicking on the padlock and selecting “Lock Screen”.

Posted on October 23, 2008 in os x, security, tutorial

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