Image Number 4 for United States Patent #6145083.
A method and system for providing security for a computing device include resolving conflicts between a password-protected screen saver and communication notification capabilities by selectively enabling access to specific communications when the computing device is in a locked mode. The screen saver of the computing device is configured to switch the device from a normal operative mode to a locked mode in response to detection of a preset condition, such as the expiration of an idle-time timer. The computing device then remains in the locked mode until a preset authorization condition is recognized, e.g., entering a password. However, with the computing device in the locked mode, a subset of communication access capabilities is enabled. Specifically, notification of incoming communications is enabled. Preferably, connectivity for select types of outgoing calls is also enabled, e.g., connectivity for emergency calls. In the preferred embodiment, the conflicts are resolved by integrating the screen saver with communication access capabilities in a single software package. Also in the preferred embodiment, the communication access capabilities are provided by a telephony over LAN application and a switch to the locked mode is disabled during communication sessions involving the computing device. In other embodiments, while in a locked mode, incoming calls may be preconfigured by the user to selectively break through security features based on caller identification information.