Protect Your Computer from Cats that Prance on Keyboards

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. I know this sounds like a silly question, but it’s a real issue for me and I need an answer. I work mostly from my home and I have two cats. Whenever I get up from the computer they just love to stroll over the keys, and you can guess the chaos that causes. Short of placing a cover over the keyboard, is there some way to protect my files?

A. You’re not alone, and you may be surprised to learn that there is a nifty software program that addresses the problem. It’s called PawSense. It works like this: When a cat walks on the keyboard, the paws produce fairly predictable keystroke patterns, which the software immediately detects, automatically blocking further keyboard action. It also produces a harmonica sound that’s supposed to be unpleasant to cats, thereby training the cat to keep off. Typing the password “human” unlocks the keyboard. Check it out at www.pawsense.com .

The other thing you can do is set up a screen saver that is evoked and subsequently freed with a password, but, of course, you will have to remember to set the screen saver whenever you leave the keyboard.

SPONSORED REPORT

How to make the most of a negotiation

Negotiators are made, not born. In this sponsored report, we cover strategies and tactics to help you head into 2017 ready to take on business deals, salary discussions and more.

VIDEO

Will the Affordable Care Act be repealed?

The results of the 2016 presidential election are likely to have a big impact on federal tax policy in the coming years. Eddie Adkins, CPA, a partner in the Washington National Tax Office at Grant Thornton, discusses what parts of the ACA might survive the repeal of most of the law.

QUIZ

News quiz: Scam email plagues tax professionals—again

Even as the IRS reported on success in reducing tax return identity theft in the 2016 season, the Service also warned tax professionals about yet another email phishing scam. See how much you know about recent news with this short quiz.