There are boring ways to lock your computer against unauthorized access, and then there are interesting ways. We don’t know about you, but we’d much rather use a good looking method than rely on a stuffy password to do the trick.
Picword is a clever little freeware utility which lets you lock down your computer against any unauthorized tampering, say when you pop off to visit the washroom or watercooler (do people still do that stuff?). You lock the computer by clicking on the desktop icon, after which you’ll need to enter in your preset mouse click pattern in order to unlock the machine when you return.
The concept is simplicity itself, and just in case you forget the pattern you chose, there’s a handy PIN number you have to set as a fall-back. We like the idea, and love the graphical loveliness of having a frog as our lockdown screen, and since people are supposed to remember patterns much easier than passwords, it seems like it might be a good way to help family members keep their stuff private without fear of being locked out permanently.
The only problem we can see is there’s no way to edit the pattern once it’s been set, and it looks as though your only option is to uninstall and then reinstall the program to change things. Apart from that it definitely seems to be a cute and user friendly way to keep your data private against family and other casual snoopers.