Your network account is the key to your network data, including your personal network space, e-mail, and university shared network drives. While you may not necessarily believe you have confidential or sensitive data on your computer or on your particular network drive, your account likely has access to a lot of such sensitive data that you may not be aware of. As such, it is important that you protect your network credentials by changing your password often and not sharing your password or account information with others.

One way someone can gain access to sensitive data is by using your computer while you are not at your desk. To avoid an unauthorized party from sitting down at your workstation and browsing your sensitive data while you are away, you should lock your computer terminal when you are not at your desk.

To do this, simply press the CTRL-ALT-DEL key combination as you would when logging into the computer. You will be presented with a box with a few options, the first of which is “Lock This Computer” and it is the default option. Alternately, you could simply press Windows key and L. This quick 1 second, two stroke command will secure your workstation while you are away.

A good backup is to enable your screen saver to activate after 10-15 minutes. Check the box that says “Password Protect” on the screen saver configuration page, and your computer will automatically lock itself when the screen saver comes on. For assistance with activating your screen saver, please contact the Tech Center via email at

Reviewed by Steven Quirk 10/2/13