Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Locking your PC with Predator

You would not like anybody else to access your computer at your absence? That is understandable, because your computer is part of your identity and you can have multiple reasons not to allow other people to take a look into. So, how do you deal with that issue now? You, probably, have a screensaver, turning on after some inactivity time, and requires password to access the desktop again.

There are several drawbacks for using this method, and the developers of the special security software Predator from France Montpellier-Informatique tried to cover them to make the process secure, traceable, and customizable. The software is free for personal use, and it costs $29 for the Professional Edition license.

What Predator can do for you?

PREDATOR locks your PC when you are away, even if your Windows session is still opened.
It uses a regular USB flash drive as an access control device, and works as follows:
- you insert the USB drive
- you run PREDATOR (autostart with Windows is possible)
- you do your work...
- when you're away from your PC, you simply remove the USB drive. Once it is removed, the keyboard and mouse are disabled and the screen darkens
- when you return back to your PC, you put the USB flash drive in place. Keyboard and mouse are immediately released, and the display is restored.

It's easier and faster than closing your Windows session, since you do not have to retype your password when you return. However, you still can use the unlocking password in case, for example, you lose your USB drive, serving as unlocking key.

Using the software

1.       To start monitoring your PC
* Insert your key
* Run the software via the Start Menu / Programs / Predator item or via the PREDATOR icon on the Desktop
* Make sure that the PREDATOR icon flashes in the taskbar.
When you go away
* Look at the PREDATOR icon in the taskbar: if it is red, wait. If it is green and blinking, remove the key.
* The desktop will be locked in a few moments, depending on the settings you have chosen.
* If somebody tries to use your PC, PREDATOR shows the password dialog and starts a countdown.
If an invalid password is entered, PREDATOR sounds an audible alarm and displays a blinking Access Denied sign.
When you're back
* Insert the key. The desktop will be unlocked in less than a second.
* If somebody has tried to use your PC, PREDATOR automatically opens the Log window and shows the failed access attempts

Choose the proper installer for your version of Windows OS.


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