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How to lock and unlock your PC/laptop using a USB pendrive and a software
You may have seen this one in Hollywood movies. A CIA guy flicks in a USB pendrive into a computer and it starts giving out data. How would like a similar setup on your own PC/laptop. Remember, using a login password is pas·sé and easily hackable. But having a USB lock not only gives that bit of extra security to your computer but adds a pro hacker like touch.
For using your day to day USB pendrive as a lock, you need a software called Predator. Predator is free Windows program which turns your USB drive into an automatic device that locks your computer when it’s removed. After you set up Predator, you can unlock your PC/laptop only by plugging in your USB pendrive. If somebody else attempts to access your computer without the USB flash drive, he/she will get a Hollywood-style “Access Denied” message.
Here is how to lock and unlock your PC/laptop using Predator
Step 1: Download and install Predator.
Step 2: Once Predator launches, plug in a USB pen drive. The point to note is that Predator uses any USB pen drive and it does not delete or alter any of the pen drive contents. When you insert the USB pendrive, Predator will ask you whether you want to create a password. Click OK to continue.
Step 3: In the Preferences window, enter a secure password in the “New password” field. If you lose your USB pendrive, you can use this password to unlock your computer. Kindly note down this password as it is becomes very useful if you lose your pendrive or it goes corrupt. Predator also allows you to use a password in addition to USB lock/unlock. If you want this facility, check the Always Required box and you’ll be asked to enter the password each time you use your thumbdrive to unlock your PC.
Finally, in the section under Flash Drives, ensure that the correct USB flash drive is selected. When you’re done, click “Create key” and then OK.
Step 4: Predator will exit. Click the Predator icon in the taskbar to restart the program. A few seconds later, the icon will turn green, alerting you that Predator is running. Once done, Predator will check every 30 seconds to see that your USB pendrive is plugged in. If it isn’t, your computer will dim and lock down.
You can pause Predator at any time select “Pause monitoring” from the taskbar menu. You can also check if someone accessed your PC/laptop while the Predator was switched on using USB drive from the Predator activity log.
The only issue with using Predator on your computer is that it locks down one USB port exclusively for the lock/unlock purpose. However, if you are ok with the Hollywood style locking-unlocking, you should go in for a USB hub to compensate the USB port.