I bring my MacbookPro with me to work everyday. I normally do not have a password on my screensaver, but I work with some pranksters that may want to mess with me while I am away from my desk, so I want to lock it down when I walk away. I have found a useful combination of apps that will get this done for me with very little work.

Marco Polo is a neat little bit of software that will tell you machine to do different things based on current status. For example you can have it enable the screensaver password when you are connected to the Wi-Fi at work, and disable the password requirement when you get back home. The software looks at a variety of factors called Evidence, which can be a WiFi connection, a specific program running time of day and so on. Then based on the evidence it finds changes determines the machines Context like Home or work. Based on the context you can set of different rules or actions to take place.

I have set 2 contexts on my machine Home and Work, based on the time of day. I would have liked to use WiFi as my rule, however MarcoPolo does not appear to see Hidden SSID’s which my work network is. So I opted to go with the Time of Day Rules and put in my work schedule, which will set the context to Work. When the context is set to work, I have MarcoPolo enable the screensaver password and launch the application Proximity.

Proximity is a small app that looks for a paired Bluetooth device and runs an Applescript for in range and another for out of range. There are several posts on the interwebs where people have gotten cell phones to sync contacts, check email and a whole host of other things. All I want it to do is activate my screensaver when I walk away and turn it off when I come back.

The activation script is fairly easy, with Script editor enter the following code Pretty straight forward, it will turn on the screensaver which is password protected – locking my Mac from pranking or snooping co workers.

tell application “ScreenSaverEngine” to activate

Now getting my mac to automatically unlock when I get back was a bit tricker. Since the screensaver is password protected I have to get the password entered.

tell application “System Events”

keystroke return

delay 1

keystroke enter your ScreenSaver password here

delay 1

keystroke return

end tell

This will type the password and “press” ok to unlock the screensaver.

It is pretty straight forward and easy to set up, and offers a bit of extra securityto my Mac when I am at work. Since I don’t need the extra protection at home MarcoPolo turns off the screensaver password quits Proximity.

With these two little programs I have a automatic way to boost the security on my macbook when I am at the office, never a bad thing to have