As a kid, I used to be secretive about my personal diary, the pink glittery notebook that contained some of the most sensitive information I could think of – notes of crushes and petty squabbles with my friends. The Diary was hidden under my mattress and keeping its secrets secret was top priority.
Fast forward to nowadays, my spanking new laptop, and a completely insane mental switch. This pretty little case of aluminium holds virtual keys to all my social networks, emails, personal and business ones, my Dropbox and OneDrive and all the little digital treasures in them, hell, even my PayPal and Payoneer accounts are there for the taking, available for anyone who wants to snoop around my digital transactions.
All The Personal Info In One Place
If you took some time, and not a lot of it, you’d pretty much be able to reconstruct or take over my life by typing on my slightly sticky keyboard that mysteriously smells of yesterday’s coffee.
How do I keep this highly sensitive and private information safe, you may ask. I don’t. Because I’m an absolute idiot.
Our computers have become portals into our lives, our work, our intimacy, as many leaked celebrity photo affairs will testify. And many of you, just like me, chose to ignore this matter completely.
I have little reason to distrust my flatmates, and we also have little boundaries when it comes to using each other’s laptops. And if you work in a smaller team like I do, with people you know and trust, the worst thing you can imagine is that you’ll return to your computer and find out that your new wallpaper suddenly features Nicholas Cage.
But it’s easy to lull your self into this comfort and fail to make an important habit of locking your computer – yes, the one with all the most private information that should come with the label “high risk, handle with caution”.
The truth is, if you walk away from your computer and do not lock it, it poses a security risk not just to your self but also everyone you’re in contact with. Someone can use your computer in an unauthorized way even if you are away for a few minutes, and little things like tempering with your email or browsing through your data can cause lot of harm.
Free And Simple – NearLock.ME
And that’s not that hard to prevent really – you can lock it manually, when you are away, but you can also be a lazy slob like me and get away with it with one of the little helpful gadgets and apps available.
One of them (a free one!) is Near Lock(.Me), a newly released app for iOS and Mac, designed to allow users to lock and unlock their Macs with an iPhone, replacing traditional password logins.
These two apps together turn your iPhone into an authentication device. When you walk away from your Mac, it will be automatically locked. Once you approach your workplace, Near Lock unlocks your Mac. It’s pretty straight forward and, lets face it, you take your phone wherever you go anyways.
The technical mumbo-jumbo behind the system is that it uses Low Energy Bluetooth 4.0, so you should be able to leave it on all day without draining your iPhone battery, and it works with these Bloototh 4.0 equipped devices:
- iPhone 4s, 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 plus
- iMac late 2012 or newer
- MacBook Air 2011 or newer
- MacBook Pro 2012 or newer
- Mac mini 2011 or newer
- Mac Pro late 2013 or newer
There are also different gadgets if you’re into that and you can always lock your computer manually, but the important lesson here is that you wouldn’t just leave your wallet lying around for anyone to take, so don’t do it with your computer either.