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OSX - Quick and easy way to lock your desktop

I kinda missed the CTRL+ALT+DELETE quick way of locking your desktop when using OSX - but there’s an easy way to achieve something similar.


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One thing I do ‘miss’ about Windows is the quick desktop lock of ‘ctrl-alt-delete’ + Enter. I thought I’d show you how to make this quick in OSX too.

Firstly, you can put an option on your menu bar that gives you the option to ‘Lock Screen’ - see here for example:

Screen Shot 2013-03-23 at 18.40.11

To get this in your menu bar, start the program ‘Keychain Access’ - search for it in Spotlight, should show up pretty quickly. From the ‘Keychain Access’ menu, select ‘Preferences’ - you’ll see the option to display in the menu bar.

Screen Shot 2013-03-23 at 18.40.36

This will give you the option to lock on the menu bar, as shown below. Ok, it’s not as easy as the Windows keyboard shortcut though is it....

As a side note, if you’re vaguely interested in the security of your Mac, I would strongly suggest that you:

  • Set the system to require a password when waking from sleep.
  • Disable Automatic Logon.
  • Use Secure Virtual Memory.

All of the above options can be set in the Security & Privacy preferences pane.

Screen Shot 2013-03-23 at 18.40.48

If you’re a laptop user, I suggest you investigate secure disk images or maybe even whole-disk encryption. You’d be amazed how easy it is to gain access to the data drive of a laptop without knowing any passwords. I can understand how SSD users shy away from whole disk encryption though - it doesn’t help the performance does it as effectively all the blocks are written to?


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