The only security step you can’t leave on your Windows or Mac

Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to get your money and information, and your phone has one vulnerability you’ve probably never considered. Stop making this simple and dangerous mistake.

Even your printer could act as an entry point for hackers. Here are the security steps you probably didn’t know you should do.

When you go away from your computer creates an opportunity for hackers, crooks, or simply despicable people who have nothing better to do than snoop. Here’s how to prevent them from watching what you’re doing.

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Protect your Windows computer

You probably lock your phone when you put it in your pocket without thinking about it, but what about your computer? The same principle applies – always lock your device.

Windows computer

Windows computer (


Even if you trust the people around you, it doesn’t take more than a glance for someone to do serious damage. This is especially true if you work from home and have sensitive business information on your computer.

Here are some ways to lock your Windows PC:

  • Hit Windows + L to lock your computer in one step.
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + Delthen select the Locking option.
  • Click on the Begin button, then select your user icon and hit Locking.

TECH HACK: Sending and receiving texts on your computer is a total time saver. Here’s how to fix it.

Make it easier on yourself and set your computer to automatically lock after a set amount of inactivity. On a Windows machine:

  • Open Arrangements and go to Personalizationthen select Green screen.
  • Click Screen saver settings and select any option (except Nothing) from the screen saver dropdown menu.
  • Set a time for Windows to wait before locking. A few minutes should be fine.
  • Check the box for On restart, display a login screen then hit Okay.

You can also lock your computer automatically when you quit. Windows uses devices paired with your computer via Bluetooth to help detect when you’re away. Pretty neat.

First, you need to pair your device. Your phone is a good choice because you’ll probably take it with you when you get up. Find instructions for pairing any device with Windows 10 here and Windows 11 here.

Make sure to update your Windows laptop

Make sure to update your Windows laptop (

With your phone paired to your computer, here’s how to lock your computer when it detects your phone has been moved:

  • Choose Start > Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
  • Choose Dynamic lockthen select the Let Windows automatically lock your device when you’re away checkbox.
  • Take your phone with you when you move away from your computer, and it will automatically lock a minute or so after you’re out of Bluetooth range. Note that Bluetooth range can be changed. Do a test to find out how long your computer locks up.

There’s a lot built into your computer’s settings to keep you safe – if you know where to look. Here are some essentials for Windows PCs and Macs.

Lock down your Mac

Use a Mac? Here are some of the different ways to lock your screen.

  • Choose Apple Menu > Lock Screen.
  • Press Contact ID if it’s available on your Mac or your magic keyboard.
  • Press the Green screen button if it is available on your magic keyboard.
  • Use hot cornerswhich allows you to take an action when you move your mouse pointer to the corner of the screen: Select Apple menu > System Settingsthen click Desk & Dock. Click Hot Corners and click on the pop-up menu for any corner and select Green screen. Click Done. When you move your pointer to that corner, your screen will be locked.
  • Choose Apple menu > System Settingsthen click Desk & Dock.
  • Click Hot Corners and click on the pop-up menu for any corner and select Green screen.
  • Click Done. When you move your pointer to that corner, your screen will be locked.

Apple Smarts: Use this advanced search trick to find anything on your Mac.

To automatically lock your computer after a set amount of inactivity:

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
  • Click Desktop & Screen Saver > Screen Saver.
  • Use the slider to select a time.
  • Click Show everything to go back to the main System Options window.
  • Click Securitythen click A password is required to wake this computer from sleep or screensaver.
  • Close the System Options window.

Here’s how to set your Mac to log out when it’s not in use:

  • Choose Apple menu > System Settings.
  • Click Privacy & Security > Advanced.
  • Turn on Log out automatically after inactivity.
  • Click on the Log Out after the pop-up menu, then select the time before you are automatically logged out.
Man stressed on laptop

Man stressed on laptop (

What about laptops?

Your laptop may lock automatically when you close the lid, but you should get used to locking it first. You can’t push the lid all the way down, and it’s good practice to lock your computer every time you go away, so make it a habit.


Portable temptation

You don’t leave your phone unattended, right? Anyone walking by could slip it into their pocket. I know this is obvious, but a locked phone is still a liability to your privacy and security.

The same goes for laptops and tablets. If you are at a coffee shop, it is not the same as at work. Don’t leave them alone! It might be a hassle to pack your computer to run to the bathroom, but it’s worth it.

The same applies to flash drives. You can encrypt them, but the temptation is too great to take mine or lose it.

Keep your tech-savvy going

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today”. It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like yours from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for recent episodes.

In addition, I talk to a man who printed a 3D QR code for his Dad’s grave, tell you why Temu is not the best, and give steps to start your own online resale biz. And you will learn how to get rid of your old computer the right way.

Check out my “Kim Komando Today” podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Do a search for my last name, “Komando.


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