So maybe you're tucked away in your tiny cubicle working on a highly classified spreadsheet (or playing solitaire) and the yearning for food overtakes you. So you wander off to the cafeteria to scrounge up some snack forms. No matter what you were working on, while you're away from your desk, you may not want other people seeing what was on your screen. Or maybe you have a smart-aleck cubicle mate who thinks messing with your settings while you're away is really hilarious.
In Windows XP, if you have a screen saver set up, you can tell it to prompt for a password, so these wandering office marauders can't start snooping around your computer while you're away. It's easy to do and although it's not exactly bulletproof, it is better than no security at all.
From the desktop, right click and choose Properties. Click the Screen Saver tab and select a screen saver from the drop-down list. (To get the password feature, you need to have to have the screen saver set to something other than "none.") Now be sure to check the "On resume, display Welcome screen." checkbox. You also can set the amount of time that you want to elapse before the screen saver turns on. Once you have set all the options you want, click OK.
Now when you return to your computer and the screen saver has turned on, Windows doesn't go right back to your desktop when you move the mouse or touch the keyboard. Instead, it prompts you to choose your user name and then enter your password.
And with that one simple change, all those prying eyes around your office won't know exactly how good you are at solitaire.