Remote Desktop Security

As an item of convenience, Remote Desktops allow an individual to access their computer from anywhere.  They provide a way of using your machine, when you are actually away from it.  Although, having this ability can be advantageous in a number of ways, it can also make your computer vulnerable to security issues.  To ensure the safety of your data, it is important to understand the risks involved with using a remote desktop, and to know how to protect your machine from being accessed by unauthorized users.

Anyone can try to connect to your computer, access your accounts, and change your data, when you are using a remote desk top.  There are even free tools available on the internet that assist hackers in performing these operations.  Just by opening the port on your firewall, you may receive several log on attempts from anywhere in the world.  Opening accounts with administrative access can be a huge threat to your machine, especially when user names or passwords are either guessable or weak.  According to a Microsoft security advisory, having a Remote Desktop that is vulnerable can even lead to denial of service.  However, there is a certain protocol one can follow to prevent these problems from occurring.

First of all, make sure your firewalls are installed and fully operational.  Always use the VPN software when accessing your computer from another location, and limit the number of users who can log on remotely.   In addition, you can change the TCP port that will need to be specified prior to accessing the system, and limit which IP addresses can log on by creating an IP address white list.

Creating a strong password is another important aspect of protecting your information.  In order for a password to be difficult to crack, it should contain at 6 characters or more, and include at least one letter, numeral, and symbol.  Do not use any personal or financial information that can be guessed, or passwords that have been used previously to secure other data.  In addition, you should set an account lock out policy that blocks access after a certain number of failed log-in attempts has occurred.

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