Four Apps to Help You Lock Your PC via USB

Lock files with USB
Lock files with USB

In this post i will show you some apps that can provide extra security on your windows machine. Anyone who attempts to access your computer without the USB flash drive will be hit with an epic “Access Denied” message. This can be useful to deny unauthorized access to your PC especially in public places. We’ll will look at some apps that can allow you perform this task, and their features.

Predator

PREDATOR locks your PC when you are away, even if your Windows session is still active.
It uses a regular USB flash drive as an access control device, and works as follows:

How Predator works:

  1. you insert the USB drive
  2. you run PREDATOR (auto start with Windows is possible)
  3. 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.

Some features of Predator

PREDATOR can protect several PCs with the same USB flash drive, e.g. your home and office computers.

PREDATOR can protect several user accounts on a PC, each one having its own settings and its own USB stick.

PREDATOR can lock user accounts according to an hourly, daily or weekly schedule, each one with its own timetable.

PREDATOR can send alert messages by Email.

PREDATOR can take pictures of the person who tries to use your computer and attach them to an email or upload them to a remote server.

PREDATOR records all security-related events in a log file: start, alarms, stop. By reading this log, you will know if intruders have tried to use your computer while you have been away.

PREDATOR frequently changes the security codes recorded on your USB drive. If an intruder manages to copy your stick, this copy will not work because the codes on your own stick will have changed in the meantime.

PREDATOR protects its own in-memory process. Nobody can stop it with Ctrl-Alt-Del.

PREDATOR disables the CD Autorun feature in Windows, to prevent intruders from running malware on specially crafted CDs.

How to use Predator

Step 1: Download and install Predator from their website

Step 2: After downloading, launch and plug in your USB flash drive. None of the contents of the drive will be deleted or altered in any way, so feel free to use your primary thumb drive.

When you insert the drive, a dialog box will appear asking you to create a password. Click OK to continue.

Step 3: In the Preferences window, take note of a few key settings. First, enter a secure, unique password in the “New password” field. If you lose your USB drive, you’ll use it to unlock your computer.

If you’d like, you can check the Always Required box and you’ll be asked to enter the password each time you use your thumb drive 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. When it does, 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.

Every 30 seconds, Predator will check to see that your USB drive is plugged in. If it isn’t, your computer will dim and lock down.

Rohos Logon Key

Rohos Logon Key uses two-factor authentication solution that converts any USB drive into a security token for your computer and allows you to access Windows in a secure way. Works also with RFID, OTP, U2F tokens by replacing the Windows login password.

Some key features of using Rohos Logon Key

  • Replaces weak password-based login with a hardware Security Key: USB flash drive, Google Authenticator OTP, FIDO U2F or industrial RFID access cards.
  • Or adds two-factor authentication: Your Key + PIN code, or Key + Windows password;
  • Uses a long and powerful Windows password, without the need to memorize it;
  • Login with an electronic Key is fully automatic and fast!
  • Authorize elevated operations in User Account Control request with a key as easy click!
  • The computer is password-protected, but you don’t need to enter it manually each time you log in, unlock/resume or authorize changes;
  • Use a single key to log into your home, laptop and office computer;
  • Have a few different devices for login into a single PC;
  • Windows login is protected even in Safe Mode or Remote Desktop;

USB Raptor

USB Raptor lets you turn any USB flash drive to a computer lock and unlock key
it can lock the system once a specific USB drive is removed from the computer and unlock when the drive is plugged in again to any USB port.

The utility checks constantly the USB drives for the presence of a specific unlock file with encrypted content. If this specific file is found the computer stays unlocked otherwise the computer locks.

To release the system lock user must plug the USB with the file in any USB port.
Alternative the user can enable (or disable) two additional ways to unlock the system such is network messaging or password

Some of its features include

  • Automated USB lock and unlock function
  • Lock file contents are encrypted
  • Password to override lock (can be enabled by user)
  • Network command to override lock (can enabled by user)
  • USB drive serial number check (can be enabled by user)
  • Unique key for each system (can be enabled by user)
  • Status report function

How to use

On the first run USB Raptor comes up with simple configuration enabled in order to give you the configuration basics in just three steps.

Step 1: Set your own password.

Remember your password! Although USB Raptor is made to lock and unlock your system automatically you may need your password in the future.

Step 2: Plug a USB flash key to your system and select the drive letter

Drive letter is not critical for unlock operation it is need only to indicate where you want to write the file.

Step 3: Enable USB Raptor to get the system protected.

Once USB Raptor activated and the USB key is in place, a popup message will appear on your screen indicating that USB Raptor is armed and ready for use.

KeyLock

KeyLock is a program that helps you lock your computer with a USB Flash Drive or a phone.

It’s not possible to use your computer after you’ve locked it with KeyLock. It uses the Windows lock screen to lock your PC, making it impossible to reach the desktop. After unlocking, you can immediately use your computer again.

These are some apps that can enable extra security for your PC locking with USB.

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