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Perhaps your boyfriend, nephew, grandson, or your daughter-in-law's brother-in-law would be willing to poke around in your computer for free. If you want to let them, here are a few programs they can use (all require Windows admistrator approval): www.showmypc.com or www.tightvnc.com that require installation, or www.teamviewer.com that doesn't require installation - God bless you! But if you'd rather pay for someone who knows what he's doing, go back to step one. Thanks!
IS THIS SAFE?
The official, fully visible method for PC remote access is Windows' built-in Remote Assistance, which lets you give someone permission to view your desktop or even share with you control of your PC with your full knowledge and consent. But hackers are more likely to use the term "Backdoor" - meaning an unknown person can stealthily access your files. The ultimate nightmare for a computer user might be the idea that someone outside your computer could take it over or get at your personal information without your knowledge and consent.
With XP and newer versions of Windows, Remote Assistance comes pre-installed, so that a qualified technician you trust can "remote in" only when you give permission and share your desktop, or - with additional permission - control your computer. The remote tech can be allowed only to observe, or can be given as much control over your system as if he were sitting there next to you at the keyboard. You can interrupt the session at any time.
But hackers predate Microsoft by a few years. NetBus, for example, was designed in 1998 by Carl-Fredric Neikter, and many of the backdoor programs since then have followed a similar design. Such programs come in two parts: the Client, and the Server. The Server is the part that has to be installed on the machine to be controlled, and the Client is the controlling system. Once the Server program has been installed either with your knowledge (see free online help) or by your clicking on a fake anti-virus pop-up message, etc., the Client can have almost total control, from dangerous things like recording keystrokes, searching for financial information or passwords, or launching programs, to displaying obscene messages or doing stupid things like opening the CD tray. NetBus 2.0 Pro was even marketed commercially as a remote administration program.
Some other backdoor programs are Back Orifice (which was named as a pun on Microsoft’s Back Office program), SubSeven, and Poison Ivy. Any backdoor program can allow an outsider full, unrestricted access to the hacked computer without the owner's knowledge. The hacker can copy information off of the computer, activate webcams, even remotely shut down or crash the computer. Netbus and SubSeven are very popular among "script kiddies" - bright adolescents or immature young people whose code of ethics hasn't been well-formed. Most backdoor programs are easily stopped by antivirus and firewall programs.
All programs that use variations of VNC (Virtual Network Computing) described in our free online help humorous blurb require you to tell the computer service person your access code that the program generates. When you disconnect, logoff or reboot your computer, this connection should be ended. If, however, someone offers to use ShowMyPC or similar VNC program with the "Install as Service" option, it can start up each time you reboot so another person could reconnect with your computer at any time. This could be useful if the technician needs to reboot your computer, but you should know how to disable this service.
Go to www.tightvnc.com and see the "Getting Started" section on the "Documentation" page, or google "install VNC as a service" for how to run "msconfig" to disable this service if it was installed: login as admin, then in the Windows "Run" window, type "msconfig" and click on the "Startup" tab to see whether it installed VNC as a service. If it did, simply uncheck this option so it will not start up when you reboot your computer. Now, go back to step two. Thanks!
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