Although most of us hate having to deal with (and often forget) multiple passwords for all our accounts, this decades-old security measure has been protecting our computers, mobile devices, emails, documents, and financial accounts from prying eyes for pretty well. That said, advancements in technology and computing power has also made it easier for hackers to breach your system’s security by cracking passwords via brute force attacks. If you want to guard your computer through other means of security, try the pattern based locking technique provided by Eusing Maze Lock. It’s a security application for Windows that lets you set up a pattern for unlocking your computer’s screen similar to Android’s pattern lock, making it more difficult for someone to crack and thus, less vulnerable to breaching attempts.
Once installed, Eusing Maze Lock sits in the system tray and automatically triggers the lock screen after a specified interval, just like the automatic screen timeout feature found in almost all mobile devices. This comes handy in case you’re not around your PC and have forgotten to lock it manually. You can also use the Win + A hotkey or simply click Lock Computer from the context menu of the tool’s system tray icon to manually lock your computer.
Clicking Configure in context menu (or pressing Win + C) opens up the configuration console, from where you can specify the custom lock pattern for unlocking your computer, along with a few other options. The application allows you to specify 3 x 3, 4 x 4, or 5 x 5 (25 points) grid for the lock pattern. To set a new pattern, click the Reset Pattern button and then click and join the circular nodes in a custom pattern of your choice. You can even create a backup image of the current pattern by clicking Backup Pattern button, which in turn creates a BMP image file in your selected folder. This lets you take a printout of the image or save it on a flash drive somewhere safe in case you in case you forget the pattern latter on, pretty much like a spare backup key.
The General tab lets you configure a few more aspects of the utility. You can toggle the following options:
- Autolock at Windows startup: (On/Off)
- Autolock computer after: (Never or up to 5 hours)
- Turn off the monitor after: (Never or up to 5 hours)
- Autohide unlock window after: (Never or up to 5 hours)
- Disconnect internet when locked: (Yes/No)
- Alert after enter incorrect pattern over: (Never or up to 7 times)
- Alert mode: (None, with alarm, lock computer, shutdown)
- Lock keyboard: (Yes/No)
- Unlock mode: (Normal, Secure, Dynamic)
- Alert text: (Custom text of your choice)
You can change the background image of the lockscreen from the Background tab, toggle the flip transition effect when entering the lockscreen, and even use a transparent background if you want.
The screenshot below demonstrates how the lockscreen appears. The lock pattern at the center allows to unlock the screen by joining the appropriate nodes in the set order. You can also change the Unlock mode on the fly, thanks to the three miniscule buttons provided at the bottom-right.
The Secure unlock mode works pretty much the same way as Normal unlock, the only difference being it doesn’t display the connected nodes. This is useful if you have someone around and don’t want them finding out the correct pattern while you enter it. Likewise, the Dynamic unlock mode requires users to match and enter the random passwords generated according to the defined lock pattern.
Eusing Maze Lock is a pretty handy utility to protect your computer from unauthorized access, and the options it provides along with its price tag of free makes it worth a download for anyone wanting to add another security layer to their computer. Eusing Maze Lock works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.