Disabling Remote Access Doesn’t Disable All Remote Access

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Among the very first few things I did when our family first got our most recent computer was to disable remote access entirely. I no longer remember how I managed to do this, but that’s just as well because I wouldn’t even dream of re-enabling it!

That’s a comment I received from a reader relating to the pernicious “tech support scam” where scammers call you, say they’ve detected problems originating from your computer, and offer to fix it for you — perhaps even for free — if you just give them access to your computer.

Disabling remote access in Windows does not disable this kind of remote access.

I’ll review the setting in Windows and compare it to the types of remote access more commonly used by scammers.

And, of course, I’ll review what you need to do to stay safe. There’s a good chance it’s something you’re doing already.

Read moreDisabling Remote Access Doesn’t Disable All Remote Access

The Risk of Searching for a Support Phone Number

You’ve been locked out of your outlook.com email account.

Maybe you forgot the password; maybe you were hacked. Your recovery attempts have all failed, and you’re desperate to regain access to your account.

So, you search online for “outlook.com support phone number”, hoping to talk to a real, live person, to get some help directly from the source.

Unbeknownst to you, things are about to go from bad to worse.

Much worse.

Read moreThe Risk of Searching for a Support Phone Number

Is my ISP calling me to clear up my problems with Windows?

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Hi Leo,

You might be interested in this little anecdote.

Yesterday about noon, the telephone rang. It was an Indian woman, and here’s what she said …

What follows is an increasingly commonly-attempted scam. Fortunately, the person reporting it had the right instincts and was able to avoid getting taken.

Let’s look at the transcript provided, and I’ll identify all of the warning signs with [notes] as we go.

Read moreIs my ISP calling me to clear up my problems with Windows?