Do you "lock" computers in your home?

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Hockey10
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by Hockey10 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:16 am

Not only do I lock my MacBook when not using, I also have a hiding spot where I place it when I am not home.

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luminous
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by luminous » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:17 am

gtd98765 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:16 am
SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:50 am
I don't think you need sophisticated tools to bypass password protection --- all you need is the ability to boot off a USB drive or set boot order. That can be disabled in most PCs if you want to be more secure.
How many burglars know how to do that? If they are really good computer people, they can make more money doing computer stuff than robbing homes. Again, you have to balance your mitigations with the threat you face.
To me the threat model is: burglar steals my laptop and sells it to shady computer buyer who does indeed know enough to crack my password and get to my files. So disk encryption and passwords are both prudent. My computer has been stolen so I don’t consider it unlikely.
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mptfan
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by mptfan » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:24 am

tim1999 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:30 am
I've always locked it since an ex-girlfriend years ago snooped around on my non-password protected desktop computer while I wasn't home, and found my stash of "adult entertainment" files.
That's funny. I would be more bothered by the fact that she was snooping, than her finding the adult entertainment files.

miamivice
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by miamivice » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:54 am

I do not.

I have a fundamental philosophical problem with the idea that I need to secure something within the confines of my home. I have relatives that hide things in their house when they are gone, hoping they won't get taken in the event their house gets robbed. I think that I should choose a neighborhood secure enough that house robbery is so far down that hiding things inside my house is not purposeful.

Same goes with locking a computer. I should never have someone in my house that would snoop through my personal computer. That is basic trust in others.

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Hayden
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by Hayden » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:55 am

typical.investor wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:39 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:34 pm
*unlocks computer*

I use full disk encryption on every drive, including removable drives. And I lock the computer when I'm not physically sitting at it. The main reason I lock it is that I'm required to do so at work, even if I'm just getting coffee or retrieving a printout. So it's easier to do it all the time.
This is very important.

If your drive is not encrypted, it is easily readable even without logging in.

Either turn it on, or find a way to encrypt those files.
I'm using Windows 10 Home and Bitlocker is not available with this. What do you recommend for full disk encryption?

gtd98765
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by gtd98765 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:40 am

luminous wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:17 am
gtd98765 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:16 am
SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:50 am
I don't think you need sophisticated tools to bypass password protection --- all you need is the ability to boot off a USB drive or set boot order. That can be disabled in most PCs if you want to be more secure.
How many burglars know how to do that? If they are really good computer people, they can make more money doing computer stuff than robbing homes. Again, you have to balance your mitigations with the threat you face.
To me the threat model is: burglar steals my laptop and sells it to shady computer buyer who does indeed know enough to crack my password and get to my files. So disk encryption and passwords are both prudent. My computer has been stolen so I don’t consider it unlikely.
I am not disagreeing that encrypting a HDD would be ideal. Absolutely that would be best for everybody; anyone with the inclination and skills to do so should. What I am saying is that most people will not bother; they don't want to spend the $100 for Win Pro, or learn how to use Veracrypt, or would rather watch cat videos. If everyone always did the right thing there would only be index funds and we would not need Bogleheads.

What I am saying is, for those people who will not encrypt their HDDs, they should not just throw their hands up in the air and say everything is useless; they can still improve their security somewhat by setting up a password on their Windows computer in 30 seconds, then spend only 2 seconds more to log on to it each time afterwards.

On Windows, encrypting a HDD involves considerable user friction, and most people will not do it. Setting up a password and using it from then on involves orders of magnitude less friction, but still is an important step towards better security.

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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by abuss368 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:44 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:55 pm
I know that it is unlikely that someone will break in and steal my 2 laptops (1 Chromebook, 1 Windows). However, I wonder how bad the effects would/could be if they do. I don't lock them because I jump on and off of them at least 20 times a day and it is a hassle to unlock them. I have Quicken (with all my financial accounts/account numbers), tax returns and other normal records (copies of marriage certificate, birth certificate, SSN card, passports,etc.) on the laptops.

I am wondering if people lock their computers all the time when not using them at home or use some other method to avoid theft of data or just don't worry about it. I make a concerted effort to lock them when traveling and leaving them in a hotel room or something like that.
When I used Quicken over a decade ago I never added account numbers.
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vitaflo
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by vitaflo » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:44 am

chesley wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:24 am
JPH wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:21 am
Can you recommend software to encrypt a hard drive?
On Windows 10, you can use BitLocker with Enterprise, Pro, or Education editions. For most with Windows 10 Home, you can use a 3rd party encryption.
And on Mac you can use FileVault. It's built into the OS and is in the System Preferences.

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michaeljc70
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:29 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:44 am
michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:55 pm
I know that it is unlikely that someone will break in and steal my 2 laptops (1 Chromebook, 1 Windows). However, I wonder how bad the effects would/could be if they do. I don't lock them because I jump on and off of them at least 20 times a day and it is a hassle to unlock them. I have Quicken (with all my financial accounts/account numbers), tax returns and other normal records (copies of marriage certificate, birth certificate, SSN card, passports,etc.) on the laptops.

I am wondering if people lock their computers all the time when not using them at home or use some other method to avoid theft of data or just don't worry about it. I make a concerted effort to lock them when traveling and leaving them in a hotel room or something like that.
When I used Quicken over a decade ago I never added account numbers.
I download the transactions from all my credit cards, checking account, brokerage accounts, etc. so it is necessary for that.

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abuss368
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by abuss368 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:30 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:29 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:44 am
michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:55 pm
I know that it is unlikely that someone will break in and steal my 2 laptops (1 Chromebook, 1 Windows). However, I wonder how bad the effects would/could be if they do. I don't lock them because I jump on and off of them at least 20 times a day and it is a hassle to unlock them. I have Quicken (with all my financial accounts/account numbers), tax returns and other normal records (copies of marriage certificate, birth certificate, SSN card, passports,etc.) on the laptops.

I am wondering if people lock their computers all the time when not using them at home or use some other method to avoid theft of data or just don't worry about it. I make a concerted effort to lock them when traveling and leaving them in a hotel room or something like that.
When I used Quicken over a decade ago I never added account numbers.
I download the transactions from all my credit cards, checking account, brokerage accounts, etc. so it is necessary for that.
Got it. I gave up Quicken many years ago as we have simplified out financial lives to the point there was no value. We used to enter the data back then.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!"

mariezzz
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by mariezzz » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:43 pm

If your drive isn't encrypted, locking the computer doesn't do much if they take the computer/drive.

02nz
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by 02nz » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:57 pm

Hayden wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:55 am
typical.investor wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:39 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:34 pm
*unlocks computer*

I use full disk encryption on every drive, including removable drives. And I lock the computer when I'm not physically sitting at it. The main reason I lock it is that I'm required to do so at work, even if I'm just getting coffee or retrieving a printout. So it's easier to do it all the time.
This is very important.

If your drive is not encrypted, it is easily readable even without logging in.

Either turn it on, or find a way to encrypt those files.
I'm using Windows 10 Home and Bitlocker is not available with this. What do you recommend for full disk encryption?
There seems to be a lot of confusion over this - Microsoft says Windows 10 Home doesn't have BitLocker, but that doesn't mean that you can't encrypt drives. I've done just that on my Windows 10 Home machines.

I'm not 100% clear on this stuff, but it seems that if your PC has a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 and it's enabled in BIOS, then you can encrypt drives even in Windows 10 Home. Works on my Acer Swift 3, no add'l software required.

I had a Dell Latitude convertible without TPM running Windows 10 Pro. I was able to encrypt its SSD but (IIRC) had to unlock it every time I logged into Windows, because of the lack of TPM I think. That made it kind of a pain to use. (Strange that this business PC had no TPM but the consumer-oriented Acer Swift does.)

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billthecat
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by billthecat » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:15 pm

My drives are encrypted, logins are password protected, and the BIOS is password protected (so they can’t boot from another drive, making erasing and reusing a challenge).

Logging in is not a hassle because it automatically unlocks from my Apple Watch.
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TN_Boy
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by TN_Boy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:36 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:54 am
I do not.

I have a fundamental philosophical problem with the idea that I need to secure something within the confines of my home. I have relatives that hide things in their house when they are gone, hoping they won't get taken in the event their house gets robbed. I think that I should choose a neighborhood secure enough that house robbery is so far down that hiding things inside my house is not purposeful.

Same goes with locking a computer. I should never have someone in my house that would snoop through my personal computer. That is basic trust in others.
I sure lock mine.

Partly because I might have people in the house when I'm not around (think petsitters) that I generally trust, but well, I'd rather have the computer locked. For that matter, I have a guest wireless network. My company can use the internet at my house, but not see my computers. It's not just trust .... sometimes people do things they shouldn't because they are not tech-savvy.

Children of relatives or friends .... sorry, I don't want them accessing my computer and a child might left momentarily unsupervised might sit down and start doing things.

And, if someone breaks into my house and grabs the computer, the thief (or anyone he sells the computer to)is not going to be able to access my files (which are encrypted) without figuring out the password.

All neighborhoods get robbed; it not possible to choose a robbery proof house.

megabad
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by megabad » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:12 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:55 pm
I don't lock them because I jump on and off of them at least 20 times a day and it is a hassle to unlock them. I have Quicken (with all my financial accounts/account numbers), tax returns and other normal records (copies of marriage certificate, birth certificate, SSN card, passports,etc.) on the laptops.
It sounds like you would benefit more from buying an additional "secure" computer than anything else if you are logging in 20 times per day. Basically I have one computer that is offline and encrypted that holds all the static financial stuff. I have another that I use to login to financial accounts with a password. Everything else I do on another computer or tablet. In this way, you don't have to lock the tablet or "non secure" laptop if you don't want to but you can encrypt/secure the crap out of the other ones. I have virtually no concern of a typical burglar getting access to this type of info. I have every concern that someone I know might.

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Elsebet
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by Elsebet » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:19 pm

I lock mine at home out of habit. It's a rule that at my office we must always lock our laptops (both the OS and physically locked via cable to the desk) before leaving it unattended, if you are caught you get written up. Yes I work in InfoSec. :)
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Hayden
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by Hayden » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:40 am

02nz wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:57 pm

There seems to be a lot of confusion over this - Microsoft says Windows 10 Home doesn't have BitLocker, but that doesn't mean that you can't encrypt drives. I've done just that on my Windows 10 Home machines.

I'm not 100% clear on this stuff, but it seems that if your PC has a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 and it's enabled in BIOS, then you can encrypt drives even in Windows 10 Home. Works on my Acer Swift 3, no add'l software required.

I had a Dell Latitude convertible without TPM running Windows 10 Pro. I was able to encrypt its SSD but (IIRC) had to unlock it every time I logged into Windows, because of the lack of TPM I think. That made it kind of a pain to use. (Strange that this business PC had no TPM but the consumer-oriented Acer Swift does.)
I have searched everywhere and can't figure out how to do what you describe. I have TPM 2.0 enabled, and I can't find a way to encrypt the drive with my Windows 10 Home.

Advice anyone? Or should I just pay the $100 and buy Windows Pro?

02nz
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by 02nz » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:13 am

Hayden wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:40 am
02nz wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:57 pm

There seems to be a lot of confusion over this - Microsoft says Windows 10 Home doesn't have BitLocker, but that doesn't mean that you can't encrypt drives. I've done just that on my Windows 10 Home machines.

I'm not 100% clear on this stuff, but it seems that if your PC has a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 and it's enabled in BIOS, then you can encrypt drives even in Windows 10 Home. Works on my Acer Swift 3, no add'l software required.

I had a Dell Latitude convertible without TPM running Windows 10 Pro. I was able to encrypt its SSD but (IIRC) had to unlock it every time I logged into Windows, because of the lack of TPM I think. That made it kind of a pain to use. (Strange that this business PC had no TPM but the consumer-oriented Acer Swift does.)
I have searched everywhere and can't figure out how to do what you describe. I have TPM 2.0 enabled, and I can't find a way to encrypt the drive with my Windows 10 Home.

Advice anyone? Or should I just pay the $100 and buy Windows Pro?
It may already be encrypted. When you open up File Explorer and click on This PC, under Devices and Drives, does the drive icon have an lock image in it? That icon will be unlocked (otherwise you wouldn't be able to access the data), but the drive is encrypted.

Or click the windows button and search for "Device encryption settings" to see encryption status.

Note that you need to be signed with a Microsoft Account (not local-only account) to enable device encryption - the key is backed up to the cloud via your Microsoft Account.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:22 am

Nope. It boots straight to desktop without having to sign in and there is no lock screen. Nor is my phone set up to lock. There is no sensitive information on either one. Sure, a thief of my desktop could open up my files, including net worth, expenses, etc, but those are all just manually typed into Excel. My browser doesn't remember my history or passwords, so the thief would have to know where I bank/invest, figure out my username, figure out my password, and either figure out my security answer or also have my stolen my phone in order to get the 2FA. Having my physical computer is irrelevant to them knowing which website, username, password, etc, so it doesn't really matter if it's locked or not.

It'd be really irritating if someone stole my desktop, because I'd have to restore all my data from a backup, but that's the extent of my loss. If someone stole my phone, all it has is my contact list. No apps installed. No browsing history to any financial websites. It's not even synced to a Gmail account or anything. It'd be the equivalent to someone breaking into my house and stealing a landline phone from the wall and an address book that is next to it.

Now, if someone stole my filing cabinet, then I'd be in a real pickle, because that actually has my tax documents, social security card, and so on.

Caduceus
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by Caduceus » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:27 am

tim1999 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:30 am
I've always locked it since an ex-girlfriend years ago snooped around on my non-password protected desktop computer while I wasn't home, and found my stash of "adult entertainment" files.
lol, bro 8-) I feel ya.

I do lock my computer when I'm out of the house as I don't really bother switching it off. My understanding is that it is actually quite hard to break this simple Windows log-in screen password - is that wrong?

In general, I feel safer with my info on my own laptop behind a password than having my info on cloud servers where they are exposed to potential breaches 24/7

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:33 pm

For my administrator account, yes. For my user-level account, no, except yes, except I have no password on it, so in practical terms no.

I also used the personalization feature to set a distinctive, and to my eyes annoying, screen background pattern on the admin account, so I won't forget to be extra careful when I'm using it.

PJW

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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:32 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:55 pm
I know that it is unlikely that someone will break in and steal my 2 laptops (1 Chromebook, 1 Windows). However, I wonder how bad the effects would/could be if they do. I don't lock them because I jump on and off of them at least 20 times a day and it is a hassle to unlock them. I have Quicken (with all my financial accounts/account numbers), tax returns and other normal records (copies of marriage certificate, birth certificate, SSN card, passports,etc.) on the laptops.

I am wondering if people lock their computers all the time when not using them at home or use some other method to avoid theft of data or just don't worry about it. I make a concerted effort to lock them when traveling and leaving them in a hotel room or something like that.
Yes. All. The. Time. If I am done, I lock it. I don't want any inadvertent use while I have one of my financial applications open. To me, keeping computer unlocked, even in your own home is CRAZY! I may be paranoid, I work in tech, and I have always been in the habit of locking when I am not using my own machine.

If its a "community" machine, like say iPad, its OK to keep it unlocked and I dont care as much.

7eight9
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by 7eight9 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:49 pm

Never. There are better things to steal in the house than a Chromebase. Or a Chromebook. Or a 10 year old Windows laptop. I trust most professional thieves as well as crack heads would quickly realize this. And if they do steal them what are they getting? The Chromebase is turned on and unlocked. Unplug it and you will need to log back in. The other two computers are in a drawer and need a password to unlock. Good luck. There aren't any interesting files on them anyway. Phone is unlocked. A thief could get to my emails if they got the phone. Nothing exciting there either. No apps on the phone other than a game that would be of no interest. No visitors. No guests. If there is a contractor (i.e. plumber) here then I'm here too. No worries.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

gnujoe2001
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by gnujoe2001 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:41 pm

Yes, OS login password, as well as BIOS boot password. Its low hanging fruit security that might give the amateur smash and grab then pawn thief enough hassle. I haven't done full disk encryption but do keep a VeraCrypt file vault for the important stuff.

hilink73
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by hilink73 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:51 pm

gtd98765 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:33 am
Starfish wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:00 am

I don't know about chrome but it is useless in windows if one gets physical access to the HDD.
Unless you encrypt the whole thing.
Encrypting a Windows hard disk, unless you spring an extra $100 for Win 10 Pro, is non-trivial. I would not want to discourage people from taking important basic security measures like using a password by saying it's worthless unless you encrypt.

You have to look at the real threat. Your basic burglar in 99% of the cases is not going to have the interest or skills to remove your HDD and try to see if there is anything interesting there. If you have any reason to think that you personally are a target of the KGB or a sophisticated crime syndicate, yes you should figure out how to encrypt your hard drive. But for most people who are burgled, the burglar does not know or care who you are -- you are just the house with the breakable window in the back.
1) I do not want a burglar to have even more personal data from me, than he has knowing my address already.

2) Encrypting disk comes in handy if you want a warranty replacement/repair or if you are just discarding it. No worries at all, if your data is safe or not. Especially some SSD are still difficult (or impossible) to wipe!

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michaeljc70
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:52 am

Thanks for all the responses. I have password protected my Chromebook when it goes to sleep. I set my Windows machine to use Dynamic Locking. That locks your computer when your cell phone gets out of bluetooth range. Has anyone used that? I am hoping it is pretty foolproof. That will allow me to carry on with other business in the hub of the house (kitchen/living/dining) without it locking and lock when I leave the house or go to further parts of the house (at least in theory).

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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by Lee_WSP » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:12 pm

The results would be very disastrous. It's a simple enough thing to add. Just do it.

Wainward
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Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

Post by Wainward » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:18 pm

Not locking your computer is like owning a safe full of valuables, but never locking the safe.

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