-Are you using Remote Desktop? Know the risks!-

Using remote desktop has its benefits, but using it securely is a must.  When you access your computer using remote desktop software, you are opening a connection directly to your computer.  If that connection is left open, the person using the host computer next can access your computer in a similar manner and manipulate or steal any discrete information that you may have saved.  Fortunately, most remote software has default connection settings that disconnect after the system has been idle for a predetermined amount of time.

Using one user ID to access remote desktop is recommended for obvious reasons; less chance that your system can be compromised under another ID that has been previously setup.  This is not always the case when more than one person needs access under different credentials.

For remote desktop to be enabled, you must have an open network port, which in-turn is opening a hole in your computer’s firewall that helps keep out unwanted network traffic.  Hackers can use these ‘holes’ in your firewall to gain access to your information and personal data.  Hackers can even use these to spread vulnerable infections.

PC Professionals recommends having a VPN (Virtual Private Network) configured to almost guarantee 100% security.  With this setup, remote desktop will only work on a LAN (local) basis.  The security risk that was described above will no longer be available for hackers to use/manipulate as the hole is closed.  Using VPN to connect to a network locally, and then remote desktop to the computer of choice is the most secure method.

Leave a Reply