👍 #796 – Does Turning Off Remote Access Keep Me Safer?


The "remote access" or "tech support" scam continues to trap people, fooling them into allowing someone with malicious intent to access their machine using remote access tools. The result ranges from paying for unneeded services to a machine loaded with malware, or worse, ransomware.

One might think that turning off Windows own Remote Desktop would keep you safer.

One might think. Sadly, doing so doesn't help at all in these cases.

Also this week

"Not Responding" isn't a very helpful message. The problem is it can be caused by many things.

I discovered multiple desktops. (I know, sometimes I'm slow.) It's changed how I work.

More and more software updates -- does that mean less and less disk space? Maybe.

The TEH Podcast

Gary and I managed to talk politics without talking politics again, touching on the technical issues in the Iowa caucus. I rave about a product I learned about from "the other Leo's" podcast, as well as how I listen to podcasts these days. Gary also shares a show he likes on Apple TV. All that and random other goings on in TEH 085: Politics, Privacy, Podcasts, and a Mythic Quest. Give it a listen! The TEH Podcast

Not All News Is Bad

Just a little plug for one of my other projects: Not All New is Bad, which completes its third year this week. A pointer to a good news story, in email, once a day. In these tumultuous times it's been an important part of keeping my perspective (and, to be honest, sanity Smile).

Have a great week!!



Does Turning Off Remote Access Keep Me Safer?

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?

“Safer” is relative.

Yes, you are a little safer than not having turned those items off, but I don't want this to lull you into a false sense of security thinking you are “safe.”

Remote access comes in many forms, and you've only turned off some of them.

Continue Reading: Does Turning Off Remote Access Keep Me Safer?

Confident Computing - The Book!

This Week's Articles

What Does "Not Responding" Mean?

I am having difficulty when I am browsing or using a program. After a few minutes the computer freezes and I get a message in parenthesis saying (Not Responding). Sometimes I have to log off and log on again to fix this problem. But after a few minutes it happens again. How can I fix this?

“Not Responding” appears in the title bar of a program when Windows detects that the program isn't behaving properly. Exactly why depends on the specific program and what you were doing at the time.

Let's look at some of the possibilities, which range from software or hardware problems to user impatience.

Continue Reading: What Does "Not Responding" Mean?


Focus Better with Multiple Desktops

I am an idiot.

With that admission out of the way, let me explain what triggered it today: I've been ignoring a feature in Windows that will have dramatic impact on my focus and productivity.

“I should get around to that some day.”

Today was the day. Four and a half years after Windows 10 was released, I finally get around to Multiple Desktops. Not only is it simple, but it will alter how I use my computer.

Continue Reading: Focus Better with Multiple Desktops


Do All These Software Updates Take Up More and More Disk Space?

There are many different softwares installed on my Windows. And I find that many of them keep updating themselves automatically from the internet. These are like Avast Antivirus (program updates apart from the virus def files updates), Adobe Flash, JREs etc.

My question is, all these downloads, do they keep adding to the older installation (and eating into my disk space) or do they replace the older installation? And what about Windows updates like the IE updates — where there are options to roll back to previous versions?




I don't mean to be flippant, but the reality is exactly that: some updates are cumulative, some are replacements, and others … well, others, you get to decide.

Let's look at some of those scenarios.

Continue Reading: Do All These Software Updates Take Up More and More Disk Space?

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Posted: February 18, 2020 in: 2020
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/8333
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Confident Computing

Confident Computing is the weekly newsletter from Ask Leo!. Each week I give you tools, tips, tricks, answers, and solutions to help you navigate today’s complex world of technology and do so in a way that protects your privacy, your time, and your money, and even help you better connect with the people around you.

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I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and after "retiring" in 2001 I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.