When you have to get away from your desk for a cup of coffee or some other work, you often leave your Windows PC running. But this leaves it exposed to all kinds of privacy invasion. You never know if one of your co-workers is snooping into your computer while you are away. Although you can always lock your Windows before you leave your desk, a better method would be to automatically lock it when you are away. You can use the free BTProximity application to automatically lock down Windows when you are away.
BTProximity is a free and open-source Windows application. It works using the bluetooth protocol so you must have a bluetooth device or dongle installed in your Windows PC. You also must have a bluetooth enabled mobile phone capable of data transfer over the bluetooth protocol. BTProximity locks on your mobile phone through bluetooth protocol. When you are sitting at your desk, the mobile phone is connected to your Windows PC over the bluetooth network. As you walk away with your mobile phone in your pocket or purse, the device gets out of range and gets disconnected from your Windows PC. This triggers BTProximity to lock down Windows.
You can download BTProximity from the source-forge website. If you are interested, you can download its source code as well. The application is a portable app, so you can just extract the files to a folder and run btprox.exe. At this point, you should already have paired your mobile phone to your Windows PC. In the BTProx window, you can select which bluetooth device you want to use for locking Windows by clicking on the … button.
You can choose the timeout countdown which is the time after which BTProximity locks your Windows. This counter starts when your mobile phone gets out of your Windows PC’s range. By default, this time is 5 minutes. You can also type a lock command – command to be run when your PC is locked down. Similarly, you can type in the command to be executed when Windows is unlocked. After this all you have to do is to click on the Start button. This would make BTProximity to start looking if your bluetooth enabled mobile phone is in range. The BTProximity icon in the notification area would turn orange on finding your mobile phone. First balloon message you should see is that mobile phone is in range as shown in the picture below :
When at a later time, you pick up your mobile phone and start to walk away and cross the connection range of either of the bluetooth devices (mobile phone or PC), the BTProximity icon in the notification area would turn red and you would see a balloon popup message saying that the device has been disconnected and it is going to lock Windows in a short time as shown in the picture below :
At this point, if you want to abort the Windows lockdown, then you can right-click on the notification area icon and choose Abort pending lock. But even if the Windows PC locks down, all you have to is click on the unlock button and type in your Windows logon credentials to start using your PC again.
BTProximity is a free, open-source and portable application for Windows that allows you to lock your Windows workstation as you walk away from it. For the forgetful souls who often forget to lock or shutdown their computers when you walk away from their computers (you can easily configure BTProximity to run a shutdown command to make it shutdown your PC), it can be a great help. You can download BTProximity from http://btprox.sourceforge.net/.