Device Lock allows you to close open USB and Firewire ports as well as other device ports that are used to connect external devices to your computer system. If the ports are not closed down, users can connect their own devices, an USB drive or Flash memory card to PCs to run third party software from them or copy data to and from the PC.
That's especially problematic for companies and organizations as it increases the possibility of data theft and the spreading of malicious software on the computer and network. System administrators as well as security concerned end users should consider disabling ports and connections on the PC to prevent this from happening. This is of course only an option if the ports are not needed for day-to-day activities.
Device Lock is a great utility that allows system administrators to lock out practically every device that can be connected to a PC so that users of the system cannot execute software from it or copy files to it. It does so on a per-user level.
It lets you customize access times for devices, so that they can sometimes be connected and will be refused at other times.
Useful if you want to prevent access at night or during weekends, but not during work days. Individual USB devices can also be enabled and all others blocked. The program is highly configurable and integrated into the windows group policy editor.
You need Windows XP professional for the program as Windows XP Home does not have the group policy editor. The tool is having a list of administrators that are able to change the policys, all others are not able to change the policy although they may be administrators as well.
Device Lock creates extensive log files which might come in handy if you suspect a user was fiddling around with the settings or tried to connect a device to the computer.
Update: Device Lock has been updated in recent time, and is fully compatible with all recent 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. Besides being able to control devices, newer versions of the software support additional controlling functions that include network communications, e.g. connections to web mail, social networking or specific Internet protocols, Clipboard controls, data type controls, file format parsing and content filtering technologies.
Note that the program does not appear to be free anymore.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.