Whenever you leave your place unattended you should protect data of your computer, log out of your system account, or lock it so that anyone who gains access to your workspace will be unable to access the critical programs and data that are accessible through your account.
The advantage of locking your computer is that you can instantly resume your work where you left off once you enter your (correct) password.
Click on Login Window… and your system will be locked:
Lock your screen with shortcut:
⌃ + ⇧ + ⏏ (Control + Shift + Eject)
This solution will only work if your Security & Privacy configuration allow this, you have to configure a time for sleep:
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