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Turning off remote assistance is an incremental improvement. But it is a very small increment in a much larger puzzle.

I have a Presario with Windows 7 Ultimate and Google Chrome is my browser. I turned off anything that I could find on my PC that had anything to do with remote access. I'm set on home group and I'm the only one on it. Am I at least safer from outside attacks?

Well, safer is a relative term.

By turning off remote access, you are in fact somewhat safer. What I'm concerned about is that I don't want this to lull you into a false sense of security and have you think that you are "safe."

Safe is nothing that can ever actually be achieved on network computers, but there are many things that you can do (and shouldn't overlook) to make sure that your computer is as safe as it can be.

Keeping up-to-date

For example, are you behind a firewall? Is your anti-malware software up-to-date? Are you keeping Windows itself up-to-date? How about all of the applications on your computer? Are you keeping those up-to-date?

Unfortunately, all of this kind of stuff is very important to keeping yourself as safe as possible from the attacks, regardless of where they originate.

As for remote access?

Typically, there are two remote tools that I play with when I install a system. One is allowing remote assistance, which I turn off. It's a feature that I've absolutely never used. Then there's the true remote desktop, remote access from one computer to another.

I actually turn remote desktop on and I leave it enabled on all of my machines. I do that because remote access is very, very important in my world.

Now how can I leave that on and still feel safe? Well, all that other stuff that I just mentioned - firewall, anti-malware tools, keeping my system up-to-date - I do all of that.

So, make sure that you are doing everything that you can to keep your system up-to-date. Keep your system safe. What I strongly recommend you do is go have a look at my article, "Internet Safety: the 7 things you need to do keep your computer safe on the internet". It gives a very good overview of all of the different steps that you should take.

Turning off remote assistance? Remote access? Sure, go ahead. It is an incremental improvement, but I have to be honest and say that it is a very small increment in a much larger puzzle.

Article C6403 - April 19, 2013 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment
April 20, 2013 6:49 AM

Thanks Leo, that`s basically what i was wondering. i know no one, not even you, is ever entirely safe on the internet. but i was hoping with remote access turned off, i would at least be "safe-er".

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