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how to password protect computerProtecting your computer with a password should be common practice, especially if many people potentially have physical access to it. Windows provides several levels on which you can set passwords to lock your user account. This article will introduce you to all common options and hopefully one will work for you.

Before we even start with password protecting your computer, please make sure you understand how to create a strong password. Here are a few articles to help you out:

If you believe you have a reasonably good password, you may want to put it through the crack test Put Your Passwords Through The Crack Test With These Five Password Strength Tools Put Your Passwords Through The Crack Test With These Five Password Strength Tools All of us have read a fair share of ‘how do I crack a password’ questions. It’s safe to say that most of them are for nefarious purposes rather than an inquisitive one. Breaching passwords... Read More .

Set Windows User Account / Logon Password

Now I admit setting a Windows password is not very creative, but this is a method worth mentioning nevertheless. Why? Not only will this password be required when the computer is booted, you can also protect an active session in many different ways.

how to password protect computer

To set an account password in Windows 7, go to your User Accounts via the Control Panel and ‘change’ your password. Moreover, you should make sure a password is set to protect your Administrator account 3 Default Passwords You Must Change & Why 3 Default Passwords You Must Change & Why Passwords are inconvenient, but necessary. Many people tend to avoid passwords wherever possible and are happy to use default settings or the same password for all their accounts. This behavior can make your data and... Read More .

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Note that a Windows logon password is a very weak defense since it is rather easy to crack, as outlined in these articles:

Lock Active Session

Clicking the [Windows]+[L] keyboard shortcut will lock your active Windows session. To get back to your desktop requires the Windows password.

For a more ‘transparent’ desktop lock, check out ClearLock, which was reviewed in this article ClearLock - A Cool Transparent Desktop Lock For Windows ClearLock - A Cool Transparent Desktop Lock For Windows Read More .

how to password protect your computer

Enable Wakeup Password

Do you use Hibernate or Sleep? Enable a password on wakeup in your Windows Power Plan’s advanced power settings.

Search and open > Power Plan from the Windows 7 start menu, then click > Change plan settings on your present Power Plan, click > Change advanced power settings in the bottom left. Expand the first item within the Power Options advanced settings and select > Yes. Click > OK and > Save changes.

how to password protect computer

Enable Screen Saver Password

To set a password when returning to the desktop from the screensaver, right-click your desktop and select > Personalize. Click on > Screen Saver in the bottom right. In the Screen Saver Settings check the box next to > On resume, display login screen. Click > Apply or > OK to save changes.

screen saver password

Password-Free Lock Options

If you’re not keen on using passwords, but do want to lock your computer, have a look at these alternative methods:

Conclusion

There are many ways and places to set passwords. They will certainly keep the average user from accessing your computer and getting hold of your data. However, as mentioned above, it’s possible to hack, crack, or circumvent passwords and often this is an easy task for an experienced user. The following articles highlight this dilemma:

Rather than depending on a single password, be sure to secure your data in many different ways and consider to encrypt your confidential and sensitive data.

Do you even bother settings standard Windows passwords? Do you use any alternative or creative methods of securing your computer?

Image credits: myVector

  1. eric
    April 23, 2012 at 8:55 am

    good

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