To Lock or Not To Lock:
A Case for Locking Your Computer
Every employer should consider whether or not it is important for employees to lock their computers when they leave them unattended. As a public school teacher I worked with grades and other confidential information on a daily basis. Leaving my classroom left my computer vulnerable to anyone who came into my room. I did protect confidential programs like my grades with a password but locking my desktop was very important to keep students and others from using my computer for browsing inappropriate sites. I also found that other school employees sometimes used it to play games if I did not lock it; and one teacher’s grades were erased by a student when she left her computer unattended and unprotected.
Some jobs, like in credit unions or banks, require employees to lock their computers when they are away from their desk. Among other things, this prevents employees from getting on a colleague’s computer to do transactions on their own accounts, which is highly inappropriate. Any questionable activity on your computer is unfortunately your responsibility whether you did it or not.
Another consideration is client confidentiality. Many employees use the same programs to service different clients but the need to protect client confidentiality is critical. Law offices, newspapers, marketing companies, political organizations, and other companies have a great deal invested in their clients and protecting their information and confidentiality is essential. Locking or unlocking your computer desktop takes seconds but protecting your computer is priceless.