I just read an article on Yahoo! that, as a security professional, about made me fall out of my chair. The advice given was very misleading and only focuses on the energy saving aspects of using/not using a desktop screen saver. You can find a link to the article at the end of this post. Basically it calls for everyone to stop using their screen savers stating that they are no longer needed since LCD monitors do not suffer from ‘burn-in’ like CRT monitors. They call for this in order to save energy. While this is very important, they fail miserably to advise their readers of an obvious, practical and much more secure way to go about this energy savings.
While Yahoo’s efforts are admirable, I say that the screen saver is a critical part of securing any and every computer. Below are my recommendations to not only ensure that your computer is more secure when you are not sitting in front of it, but also keeping “green”
1. Turn ON your screen savers.
2. Set your screen saver to require a password to resume.
3. Edit the advanced power settings in the screen saver configuration.
4. Set your monitor to turn off after X number of minutes.
5. Set any other power saving features you wish to use.
This is critically important when in a corporate environment.
Following these basic steps you can “Go Green” and “Go Secure”.
John "Mike" Wright