You may get a phone call from someone asking to get access to your computer so that they could carry out essential work to protect your computer.
But, is it safe to give someone remote access to your computer?
Allowing someone to remotely access your computer is not a bad thing, it can be very helpful. Unfortunately, there are a lot of criminals out there that take advantage of this tool to take over your computer. When this happens, it could cost you dearly.
In this article, we’ll discuss the implications of giving remote access. When to give someone remote access to your computer, and when not to.
Why Would You Want to Provide Remote Access?
There are several legitimate reasons to provide access to your computer. For instance, a remote desktop for Mac or PC can allow you to access files and folders stored on your computer when you are not near it.
Wherever you are in the world, as long as you have remote access set up, you’ll be able to use your computer.
The other benefit of being able to provide remote access is that a technician can get into your machine and fix any software problems that you may have.
What to Expect While Someone Is Remotely Accessing Your Computer
When a technician is remotely accessing your computer, you may be able to see what they are doing. Often, remote access software will show the other person’s actions to you on the screen.
In addition to being able to see, there may be some kind of communication between you and the technician. This could be in the form of a voice or a chatbox.
Although you have visibility of what the other person is doing to your computer, you should be aware that it may not always provide you with a full picture. There may be things that are going on which are not visible.
What Are the Risks Involved in Giving Remote Access?
Before you let anyone else have remote access to your computer, you should, first of all, consider the risks.
Your computer holds a lot of sensitive information. You may not realize it, but we amass data such as bank details, passwords, and other personal information all of the time.
You may also use your computer for work and you could have client information which could be very valuable to cybercriminals. All of this data needs to be protected.
When you grant someone access to your computer, they would theoretically be able to find all of this sensitive information. This could then easily be stolen.
How to Protect Your Computer Against Cybercriminals
There are several ways to protect your computer. You should ensure that you have both antivirus and firewall protection installed and that you keep this updated.
Make sure that you download and install all updates to your operating system. Many of these are designed to address security flaws, and to ignore them will expose you to risk.
Review the password that you use for your computer. Make sure that this is as strong as possible. Very often, people select weak passwords which can be easily guessed.
Don’t allow your computer to save and store login details for commonly used sites. These could be accessed and stolen by hackers.
Be careful about what you store on your computer. Think about using a password protecting certain files and folders. For sensitive information, you could look at encryption.
What to Do If Someone Wants to Access Your Computer?
If someone does want to access your computer and they have phoned you, there is a strong chance that this is a hoax.
Proceed with caution as once you have allowed them to get into your computer, you may not be able to get them out again. You should work on the assumption that this is a potential scam.
If the call is unsolicited, ask for some credentials or proof of identity before you proceed in downloading, installing, or setting up any remote access software.
Any reputable company would understand the security implications of asking for access. Even if they tell you that they are from a company that you use, don’t grant them access to your computer.
Find out which company they are calling from and tell them that you will call them back. They may try and give you a direct line, however, ask for their name and call the company via their standard phone number.
Check with the company that they claim to be from to see if anyone has tried to get in touch with you and if their technicians would ever call up and ask for access.
If you find out that you have been a victim of an attempted scam, you should contact the police and report it. Try and provide as much information about the caller as possible, as well as the number that they called from if you have it.
Is It Safe to Give Someone Remote Access to Your Computer?
So, to answer the question ‘is it safe to give someone remote access to your computer?’ the answer really does depend on whether you know and trust the person.
Use your best judgment. Look for proof of identity and ensure you take care of your machine by installing and maintaining antivirus and firewall software.
If there is any doubt over the reputation of the person who wants access to your computer, hang up and report the scam.
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