Taking a break? Lock your device

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 send 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 the front door of your computer open”.

Anytime you step away from your computer, even just to grab a coffee or go to the bathroom, lock your computer.

Below are shortcuts to lock your Windows, Linux and Apple Mac computers:


  • Press ‘Windows + L’ (for Lock).
  • Alternatively, press Ctrl + Alt + Del, then click Lock this computer.


  • Press the Super key, and ‘L’ (for ‘Lock’). So that’s Win + L.
  • Or if you are running an older version of Linux use Ctrl + Alt + L.


  • Press ‘Control + Shift + Eject’ or ‘Control + Shift + Power’.

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.

  • 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
    • 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.)
    • Your electronic devices may be used as a tool of cyber-crime (sending spam or spreading malware)

Find out more about cyber security at UC here>

How to report a cybersecurity incident

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the IT Service Desk. Call us on our free call number 0508 UC IT HELP (0508 824 843) or on 03 369 5000.