Remote access technicians

debo_2006December 4, 2012

Curious if remote access tech have behind-the-scenes access to my c drive folders when they are helping to fix an issue on computer. I know I can see them take over computer with their mouse, but hope they can't access or steal/download anything from my computer without me seeing or knowing. Had Microsoft on remote access today and yesterday for several hours and didn't take my eyes off their movements. Thanks.

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mikie_gw

Heheh... I do a lot of remote access.. You need to trust those guys.. They aren't out to discover your secrets or steal anything. They just want to get it done and be gone.

If they blank the screen,, then worry what they are looking at. I will blank the screen when people keep asking me questions or trying to show or tell me something when they see me do things :) because it breaks my thought process of what im doing.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:51AM
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owbist

Mickie's first paragraph says it in a nutshell.

I always tell folks what I am doing as I am doing it by using Skype along with Teamviewer, plus they can watch what happens.

The answer of course is to become proficient yourself. You come asking questions so you do not seem afraid of your computer. Between the forum and your friendly search engine or Youtube anything is possible. Just yesterday after watching a Youtube video I took my main monitor apart to find 2 leaking capacitors.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 7:00AM
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emma

I have used them several times and the results have always been good. The last one asked if there were any other questions with regard to the computer he could help me with. I told him I would like to turn off the auto correct in word. It took him a bit but he showed me how. I asked him if he could see anything on my PC and he said they were not allowed to look without permission. I gave him permission to look at my wallpaper and he said I was a bit of an artist. He gave me a site with beautiful pictures. It must have been a slow day for him, they are usually in a bit of a hurry to get to the next call.

There is nothing on my computer of any interested to anyone.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 9:25AM
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PKponder TX

I concur with Mikie and Owbist! When I remote access someone's computer it is with the intent of getting something done quickly and I always try to lead the end user through the fix first. If they don't seem to be following or are becoming frustrated (and sometimes when I become frustrated)I ask if they mind if I remote in. In a commercial or corporate help desk environment, we are expected to get done and onto the next call.

Debi, have you tried chat support or the Knowledge Base at Microsoft? They can provide detailed instructions that you can follow without anyone remotely accessing your computer. You ALWAYS have other options if it makes you uncomfortable allowing a tech to access your personal computer. That way you wouldn't have to worry about someone seeing something that you want to remain private. Believe me, the majority of us have zero interest in looking at your stuff :-)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 1:52PM
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debo_2006

Thanks everyone. I'm not uncomfortable with remote access, it's just yesterday Microsoft called me back to finish working on an issue from the day before. As soon as he connected to my computer, he said he would call back in 5 minutes. I waited as my computer was still remotely connected, but we weren't on telephone together. After 8 minutes, I felt uncomfortable at that point, so I texted him saying I was disconnecting and when he was finished doing whatever it was, to call me back. Fifteen minutes later, he called back. I highly doubt when he hung up the phone the first time it was to look for an answer to my issue, because he could have done that before he call me (as I said, we were working on it the day before so he knew what the issue was).

He was really nice and helpful. I keep all my passwords to EVERYTHING in a Word doc on this computer for easy access, so naturally, I'm guarded, as I should be.

Owbist, yes, I learn each and everyday from all the research I do regarding techie stuff and more. I actually enjoy researching. I generally don't bypass searching for an answer myself first, but sometimes, all the material I read still leaves me shaking my head. I know the techies here would never steer anyone in the wrong direction. So, I thanks EVERYONE FOR THAT.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 4:38PM
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mikie_gw

You might want to encrypt your document with your private passwords lists and stuff. Then nobody should be able to read it except from your computer. If a tech opened it while you were watching, you certainly would see it.

I keep an encrypted folder in my documents, everything dropped in there is encrypted.. one text file has all my logins/passwords.

Right click a folder or file and on some of the more pricy versions of windows, choose properties, advanced.. you see encrypt there .. simple check box.
Then the encryption key, maybe email it to yourself so if you ever have hard drive fail you can access those encrypted things.
There are programs that encrypt things too if your windows version doesn't have encrypt abilities. I used to zip things and password the zip, offers some protection.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 4:58PM
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PKponder TX

Encryption is a very secure idea!

I had another idea for the password document, copy it to a flash drive, then delete it from your computer and empty the Recycle bin. After the work is done, just copy it back to your computer.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 5:09PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

In my view, it's a bad idea to use encryption or passwords on personal files. Most often, who gets kept out of the file is the creator because the password is forgotten. If you're so worried about someone getting the opportunity to have physical access to a particular file, the easiest thing to do is to keep it off your PC to begin with. PCs get left behind in public and stolen, it's a poor place to put something you'd worry about being in the wrong hands.

But to start off with, be honest with yourself. It's likely no one gives a hoot about whatever you think is so confidential, and it's also likely that having such information in the hands of a stranger will have no negative consequence. Why bother being concerned about a nothing?

Some random tech at a reputable company, who's doing remote support, has neither the interest nor the time to look for buried treasure in a customer's computer, the paranoia is unwarranted.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 6:45PM
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debo_2006

Thanks, Mikie. I don't have encryption...it's grayed out. I will more than likely use pkponder's idea. As it is now, it's easy for me to have the doc on the computer so when I need to log into my banks, credit card company, etc, I just pull up the doc since there are too many PWs to memorize. But, I will delete the file as a safety precaution next time I do a remote access session or take this computer on the road, as a precaution.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:03PM
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