What is the risk of letting someone log into my computer over the net?

By georgetok
Nov 20, 2009
  1. just installed a new softwre & I was asking for help from their support department.

    They couldn't resolve my problem while helping me over the phone.

    So the guy said that he needs to log into my computer in order to see what is going on the software & help that way.

    I have never done this giving an access to my computer because I thought that would be like writing a blank check.

    (1) What is risk in letting someone log into your compuer. Can he steal any information from my hard drive ?

    (2) How can I protect my personal information like credit card number etc.

    (3) Do I need to install any kind of software for this kind of support or help ?

    (4) How do I restrict him from accessing any other partition or information besides the OS patition where I have inmstalled their software ?

    (5) What kind of information do I need to give him to access my computer ?

  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    you will see what he is doing, therefore if you feel that he is going where he shouldnt then you just cut the connection.

    if you have then just delete the document.

    some support people will have you install their own software which you can remove once they are done, or you can use windows messenger.

    Again just watch the screen you will see what he is doing as he does it.

    Depends on the software, most times you wont need to give them anything...
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    As a matter of policy, it is wise to not store any confidential information 'in clear.' There are adequate software packages for encrypting data (not only freely available for download, but also features available in the latest three Windows OS).

    Another and simpler option (less intrusive for you) is to arrange your data to be held on a plug-in USB drive, which you simply unplug whilst allowing remote access, or when sending your PC away for service.

    In view of the above, there should be no concerns about allowing remote diagnostic attachment. You may not to be aware that this approach works very well, so much so that it is absolutely standard for any consultancy supporting any business package to commercial customers. The attachment in those cases is to the servers, which in security terms is many times greater risk.
  4. georgetok

    georgetok TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    They had their own " Remote support software" built right into the main software and all I had to do was to run it & it came up with a number which I gave them & I was instantly connected to them.

    Then the question is whether they can extract any files or information from my PC since it is their software that I am using continuously which is connected to their servers even after the Remote help is over.
  5. thehighroad

    thehighroad TS Rookie Posts: 45

    Hopefully the person(s) that you allowed to connect to your computer were not malicious to the extent that they stole CD KEYS from the registry or program files folders for games and such. If in the future, you see a strange Punkbuster ban, at least you now know why. It's a shame I read this only now and from what you are saying, I take it that it has already happened. This is kind of over-cautious and paranoid, however at least you know this for future reference.
  6. georgetok

    georgetok TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Thank you to all.

    You have been great help.
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Remote assistance from any reputable support area (ie MS or your Manufacturer or some leading brand program, or even leading brand security softwares) is quite common, and done normally all the time.

    They cannot re-connect, as they would require a new "number" from you, and you would need the remote program running anyway, and you need to accept the remote assistance (through firewall popup)

    BUT, what was the program and problem that you were having difficulty with? And they have now resolved?
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