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As a security best practice, users should lock their workstations when leaving them unattended (ie: off to lunch, meeting, or bio break).  Since Mac OS X does not have a key combination to lock the computer like Windows (window + L keys), one must manually enable and configure this security feature through the Keychain Access application.

Step-by-step guide

 

How to Lock a Mac

 

With Keychain Access Lock Menu:

  1. Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access

  2. Select Keychain Preferences

  3. Click on General > Show keychain status in menu bar

  4. Keychain Lock now appears in status bar (showing unlocked)

  5. Click on lock icon > Lock Screen

  6. Your computer will now require a login



 

With Desktop Screen Saver Hot Corner:

  1. System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Screen Saver

  2. Set a value for Start after:

  3. Click on Hot Corners…

  4. Select the corner to Start Screen Saver

  5. Click OK

  6. Move your mouse to the specified corner to evoke the screen saver.  Your computer will now require a login to get out of the screen saver.