I would like to prevent others from accessing my computer
Barring physical access to your computer may be a logistical challenge: in most cases there will be moments when it is left unattended. Nevertheless, you can prevent others from getting any of your personal data out of it by using strong passwords and disk encryption.
A laptop with a TPM chip can encrypt the entire drive and secure the computer from booting to unauthorised parties, using BitLocker for Windows (Ultimate and Enterprise editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7, the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 8) and dm-crypt for Linux. Mac users can encrypt the disk using the built-in FileVault feature.
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