Over the past couple of years, there has been a sharp increase in so-called “tech support” scams.

The scam goes like this, a company or individual calls you up claiming to be from a major software company. They claim they need access to your computer to install a vital security update.

Once they have access to your computer they remotely install spyware or ransomware software that can lock you out of files until a ransom is paid, or leave a backdoor into your system allowing them to access crucial data.

This type of scam is commonplace and can be extremely damaging for victims. But it also calls into question the validity of remote IT support. If allowing remote access can compromise your system to such an extent, is it safe to allow anyone access to your PC?

Is remote IT support safe?

The short answer is, yes. Remote access is simply a tool helpdesk support technicians use to fix computer problems remotely. There is nothing wrong with remote support itself, but it is true, that damage can be done if the person acts maliciously.

But the same is true when you allow physical access to your desktop or laptop. So the question is not about how safe remote tech support is. It is more about whether you trust the person repairing your computer.

Why is remote access useful?

Remote access has transformed IT support over the past decade. Before remote support solutions became widely available, IT support technicians had to physically visit your location which involved a great deal of time and cost.

But with remote access, the helpdesk analyst can quickly gain access to your computer to identify the fault and get you back up and running in a few minutes. So remote access is not a bad thing, it is very helpful indeed.

Remote access security checklist

To help put your mind at rest we have developed the following five-step security checklist. Use this list to ensure the people accessing your computer are authorised, honest and trustworthy.

Do you know the person asking for remote access?

Are they qualified to fix your computer?

Can you watch while they carry out repairs?

Will the session timeout after being inactive for several minutes?

Did you ask them for help? (Never trust anyone who cold calls you, no matter which company they claim to be working for)

Do you need remote IT support?

If you have a problem with your PC or laptop, Rapid IT Support is here to help. Our team of qualified IT help desk technicians are all located in Australia and we have strict security protocols in place to monitor sessions and protect the data of our clients.

Initiating a support session couldn’t be easier, simply complete the support form here and one of our qualified IT support technicians will call you back. We’ve made it simple, safe and efficient, the way tech support should be.