Microsoft

Tech Tip: Secure unattended XP workstations with the Windows Exit Screen Saver

Follow these steps to Secure unattended workstations with the Windows Exit Screen Saver.

One of the biggest security risks for an enterprise is an unattended workstation that a user leaves logged on to the network. In this situation, unauthorized access becomes a very real possibility.

However, Microsoft offers a great solution to this potential problem with the Windows Exit Screen Saver (Winexit.scr), which comes with both the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit and the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit. And it works with Windows XP.

The Windows Exit Screen Saver automatically quits any currently running programs and logs off the user of a workstation after a specified time period. You can find this tool on the resource kit CDs, or you can download the Windows Exit Screen Saver from Microsoft's Web site, as part of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools.

Installing and configuring this tool is easy. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click Winexit.scr, and select Install.
  2. On the Screen Saver tab of the Display Properties dialog box, select Logoff Screen Saver, and click the Settings button.
  3. Select the Force Application Termination check box to configure the tool to close all running programs.
  4. In the Countdown For n Seconds text box, enter the number of seconds that you want the tool to display the logoff warning message box before logging off the user.
  5. In the Logoff Message text box, enter the message that you want to appear in the logoff warning message box.
  6. Click OK.

After the specified period of inactivity, the Windows Exit Screen Saver will beep and display the logoff warning message. If the user takes no action before the countdown timer reaches zero, the system will initiate the logoff procedure. You can stop the process before the countdown timer reaches zero by either moving the mouse or pressing any key on the keyboard.

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