The pattern lock is a security mechanism found in Android where you can join different dots together to form a pattern and unlock the screen. Now, you can use the pattern lock security in your Windows 8 as well with a third party app call Enusing Maze Lock. This is particularly useful on a touch-based tablet running Windows 8.
Eusing Maze Lock makes use of the same Android’s pattern lock mechanism to lock/unlock your Windows 8. When the screen is locked, you will have to join the different dots together to form the pre-defined pattern before you can unlock the screen.
1. Download and install Eusing Maze Lock. On the first run, it will prompt you to reset the default pattern lock.
Pressing OK will take you directly to the configuration window. In order to create your own pattern, you will need to press the “Reset Pattern” button and then draw a pattern on the dots given above. Eusing Maze Lock provides you with three different grids of which you can draw your pattern on. The default grid is 3*3 (9 points) and it is also the least secure. For better security, you can have 16 points (4*4) or 25 points (5*5) grid. Just select a suitable option from the dropdown menu.
Note: While configuring Eusing Maze Lock for the first time, if you leave the configuration screen open (without pressing OK) for a long time, Eusing Maze Lock will automatically lock the system without taking into account that you haven’t created a pattern yet. In my case, I had to restart my computer in order to log into Windows again. For this reason, don’t leave your PC while configuring Eusing Maze Lock. Complete the configuration in one go so that you are safe from any problems.
2. After successfully creating a pattern, Eusing Maze Lock will sit in the system tray and wait for any actions. You can trigger the lock screen by right clicking the system tray icon or by using “Windows Key + A” keyboard shortcut key. Note that the screen locking shortcut key is now “Windows + A” instead of the usual “Windows + L”.
Eusing Maze Lock comes with a lot of configuration options. These options can be accessed from the General tab.
The configuration options include the following:
Autolock at Windows Startup – Turned off by default. You can turn it on to load the security software at Windows Startup.
Autolock computer after – Specify the number of minutes of inactivity after which the computer is locked automatically.
Turn off monitor after – Specify the number of minutes of inactivity after which the monitor is turned off.
Autohide unlock window after – I recommend it to a value of Never to avoid problems.
Disconnect Internet when locked
Alert after entering incorrect pattern over – Number of times allowed to enter a pattern. This is necessary to keep the crackers and hackers from using brute force methods to break the security.
Alert mode – Play an alarm after the specified number of retry attempts.
Lock keyboard – You can either use shutdown the computer or lock keyboard in order to prevent hackers from trying too many times.
There are three unlock modes available in Eusing Maze Lock.
Normal Unlock Mode draws a trail as you fill in the pattern.
Secure Unlock Mode keeps the trail invisible. This is very helpful if you are unlocking your computer in front of someone else.
Dynamic Password Mode will require users to match and enter random generated passwords along with the pattern. This is especially useful to prevent key-loggers.
Enusing Maze Lock does not override the security mechanism in Windows. Instead, you can use Eusing Maze Lock is as an additional layer of security on your computer. If you have configured your computer to be locked after a specific amount of idle time and you are also using Eusing Maze Lock, you will need to enter your password first and then draw the pattern in order to access the Desktop again. Use this utility and stay safer.