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Lock it or lose it - secure your PC

30 October 2023

It's important to lock your computer any time you step away from it, even for a short time. As the saying goes, lock it or lose it.


When you step away from your computer, make sure you lock it!

We're not suggesting your colleagues can't be trusted, but what if you're out of the room, and then they leave the room too? Suddenly everything on your computer is available to anyone who passes by. Someone could: send malicious emails that are apparently from you; steal files; install and disseminate viruses from your machine; install malware that steals your credentials; and many other destructive things - all of which you could be held accountable for because you "left your computer's front door open".

So, anytime you step away from your computer, even just to grab a coffee or answer nature's call, LOCK YOUR COMPUTER.

Here's how:

Press the Windows key, and tap "L" (for "Lock"). So that's Win+L.

  • The Windows key has the Windows logo printed on it, and is located next to, or close to, the Ctrl key on most keyboards. 
  • Alternatively, press Ctrl+Alt+Del, then click "Lock this computer".

To unlock your computer, press Ctrl+Alt+Del, then enter your password.

It is shocking what someone can do with your identity: they can get access to EVERYTHING you do on your device which in turn can take a massive toll on the University and you individually, and damage your relationships.


The potential costs to you (and others) of being hacked:

  • You could find all your data has been deleted or encrypted and held for ransom.
  • The University network could be locked down – stopping staff and students from being able to work – and requiring millions of dollars and weeks or months to fix.
  • You could lose access to your banking and social media accounts.
  • Your identity could be stolen
    • Loans and credit cards may be opened in your name (which you are held legally liable for) – imagine discovering that you owe hundreds of thousands of dollars and are legally required to pay it back?.
    • Your credit record could be tarnished.
    • Unauthorised purchases may be billed to you.
    • You may become a victim of tax fraud.
    • You may be locked out of apps and web-based services, forever!! (Losing family photos, thesis papers etc. Do you have these backed up??).
  • Your electronic devices may be used as a tool of cyber-crime (sending spam or spreading malware).
  • You could suffer damage to your personal reputation, career opportunities, and relationships.
  • You could be used as a conduit to other cyber-crimes and criminal activities (including possible sex trafficking, child exploitation, money laundering, terrorism, etc).
  • You could be used as a cover for cyber-bullying or exploitation.
  • You could be exposed to increased risk of mental health issues, self-harm/suicide (due to emotional fall out of being a victim of crime).
Hand on keyboard

How to Report a Cybersecurity Incident

Ring the IT Service Desk

0508 UC IT HELP (0508 824 843) or
03 369 5000

Visit the IT Service Desk
located in the ground floor of Matariki

Log a ticket
on UC Services Portal

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