remote access

How do I know someone can't remote access my computer?

Episode 1366

Evangeline from Virginia Beach VA
Windows Start Menu

Evangeline has a hand me down laptop and she wants to know if there's a way for someone to access it without her permission. Leo says it's conceivable if they know her IP address and the password for the administrator account, which is highly unlikely. Leo says to change the Admin password. She can also go into the settings and disable remote access.

How can I protect my elderly mother from online scams?

Kathleen from San Diego, CA

Episode 1361

Kathleen's elderly Aunt has a Windows computer which she uses to access Facebook and then Outlook for email. Her problem is that she has had a ton of malware and phishing scams that have cost her a lot of money. Leo says that the elderly have always been easy prey to scam artists. It won't happen on a Chromebook though, and she should really have her get one. Leo says to be her administrator and give her a regular user account. But even at the end of the day, that won't stop her from calling a number.

Is it OK if a technician puts remote access software on my computer?

Susan from Fullerton, CA

Episode 1270

Susan had a tech who put remote desktop software on her computer. Should that bother her? Leo says that in the end it comes down to trust. Does she trust that he won't do anything nefarious? And if he is doing nefarious things, then it's likely too late. If she's concerned, it's important that she ask the tech to spell out why he's putting it on and realize it's a matter of trust. Leo recommends asking the tech to remove it and use an invitation based remote system instead. There are plenty out there and many are free.

How can I restore my desktop settings after remote access?

Ian from Lakeview Terrace, CA

Episode 1237

Ian installed Splashtop remote desktop to his PC so he could control it from his iPad. But now the icons are all spread out in a weird way. Leo says that's a resolution issue between his iPad and the desktop. It doesn't remember his layout, and it'll change it back and forth rather than present it as he set it up. Leo suggests going into the Windows Display settings and changing the resolution to a proper setting for both. But in Windows 10, there's actually two display menus, one for touch screen, the other for the laptop.

How can I access my desktop from my tablet?

Episode 1153

Rob from Tarzana, CA
Desktop computer

Rob's job keeps him on the road, and he wants access to his desktop PC at home via his laptop or iPad. What's a good option, and can he do it without adding an app? Leo says that he can do it in a browser, but it's better in an app.

Atlas Remote Access on the iPad works well, according to the chatroom. There's also TeamViewer. But he'll need to install something. Google Chrome Remote requires installing an extension, but if the hardware isn't locked down from browser extensions, that's an option.

Did my Mac get hacked?

Episode 1113

Kathleen from Yucca Valley, CA
Mac

Kathy thinks her Mac got hacked. She gave a support line remote access to her Mac and she's worried she got hacked. Leo says that if she didn't give them her credit card, chances are she's OK. But if she wants to be sure, she can download Little Snitch. It'll observe her computer activity and let her know if it does phone home or let someone remotely access it again. She should also turn on her software firewall.