Locking your PC: How to keep your data safe when you are away from your PC

I’m often asked “What should I do with my PC at the end of the day?  Turn if off or leave it on?”   The On or Off debate will be another Blog article, but in short I usually favor just leaving the PC on (the least amount of effort needed by the staff). If you choose to leave them on, you should always close out all your work and applications (don’t leave programs open and running).


The Problem

If you leave them on you have to consider a secondary security risk I call the ‘Janitor Factor’.   If you leave the computer logged in at night, anyone with access to the office could use your computer.  There have been multiple times in my career that the night Janitors have been the source of computers on the network getting infected while they leisurely peruse the adult oriented sites on the Internet from the large screen fast computers in the Consult room.  What if someone was to break into your office, they could sit down at any PC and start to access your patient data – a HIPAA violation for sure.