Monday, September 23, 2013

The Most Important Keyboard Shortcut you Might Not Know About

There are many keyboard shortcuts being used each day.  This is one I find the least amount of people are aware of, yet it is one of the most helpful shortcuts.  The display lock keyboard shortcut locks your computer prompting for log in.  To use it, just press the Windows key and the L key (only capitalized here for ease of reading) at the same time.

What makes this keyboard shortcut so helpful?  The best thing about this shortcut is its efficiency.  If you are somewhat security conscious you might log out of your computer when you leave your desk for longer than a certain period of time.  Unfortunately, logging out closes all of your open programs, including email, web browsers, word documents, and any other open program you were working in.  While this is fine at the end of the day when you have likely already closed these programs, it can be a big time waster if you are just getting up to go get a drink or go to the restroom.  Not surprisingly, many of us would prefer not to log out often because of the inherent tediousness it adds to our day.  However, using the lock keyboard shortcut allows you to lock your display without closing or affecting any of your open programs.  Since logging in to your computer takes less than 30 seconds, you can properly secure your computer while you are away from your desk while adding only a minimal cost to your day.
So why is this keyboard shortcut important?  Well if you use a computer at your job you most likely have access to some pieces of information that someone walking into your office off of the street should not have.  There are an unending amount of ways people steal data, so why not protect the data we can and make it harder for them?  Even if you do not work in Human Resources or IT, you could easily still have access to important data without even knowing it.  How many times have we seen movies where someone gets up from their desk and walks away and the bad guy swivels the monitor around to find information they should not have?  There is a reason we see this over and over, because it can and does happen even though it could easily be prevented.  Obviously stealing data can be much more difficult than it is portrayed, but social engineering is a way of tricking someone into either giving out information they should not be giving out, or giving access to the information to someone who should not have it.

As always, keep your data safe and enjoy the shortcut!

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