TeamViewer is an application that gives remote access to networks and computers. Most companies that provide tech support to their customers use TeamViewer. It is one of the easiest ways to access someone’s computer and control it from a remote location.
All you have to do is tell your ID and password to anyone and they can access your computer from anywhere. As cool as it sounds, there are some strings attached to applications like TeamViewer.
TeamViewer’s Privacy Issues
For starters, hackers are known to sniff security flaws like bloodhounds, especially when they know there is an online application that gives remote access to devices. For you, TeamViewer can be an awesome application for online meetings and getting remote access. For hackers, TeamViewer quite simply is a quick way to make money, steal private information, or create a botnet out of your device.
For privacy’s sake, you have to be wary on the internet.
In times like these, you can’t be too careful with remote access applications. Imagine companies like SolarWinds and Garmin bending their knees to ransomware groups, and you have but no choice to upgrade security protocols. TeamViewer is not a safe application, but it is convenient. You can either pick convenience or privacy because these two traits are rarely found in a single application.
The following are a few pros and cons of TeamViewer that can give you a clearer picture of the underlying security protocols or flaws:
|Shares private documents and files with each other||Unable to share large-sized files|
|Works on many devices such as Windows PC, Android, Mac, or even BlackBerry||Requires the same TeamViewer version on every single device|
|Offers remote access to devices and networks||Can’t work via proxy servers|
|Helps in providing one-on-one customer support||High-end subscription plans are expensive|
|Allows drag and drop options to share files||Can’t transfer files quickly and takes a bit of time|
|Gives screen-sharing options to all users||Leaking credentials can be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands (hackers)|
Some Low-End Security Protocols
If you have no choice whatsoever but to use TeamViewer, then it’s best that you should be aware of a few built-in security protocols. For your ease, you don’t have to follow every single security tip that we are mentioning below.
If you are using TeamViewer for your office meetings and other work stuff, we suggest speaking to tech support.
- Sign out of TeamViewer When Idle
Running unchecked background applications is risky, be it TeamViewer or any other application. This is why you should always sign out of your TeamViewer account when you are not using it. The same advice goes to other computer applications as well.
Threat actors are always searching for such remote access applications to create a botnet out of your computer and launch DDoS attacks. So, always log out of an application once you are done.
- Use a Complex Password
Whether you are using TeamViewer, Gmail, Skype, or Slack, always set a complex password, including numbers and uppercase/lowercase letters. If the platform allows it, use special characters, too. This simple tip can secure your TeamViewer account and prevent hackers from snooping into your network.
Trust me, if you have a weak password like your birth date or your son’s name, then hacking into your account is child’s play for a mid-level hacker. That’s why we suggest you stop making things easier for the bad guys.
Here’s how to change or set up a new password:
Step 1: Sign in to your TeamViewer account. Select Extras > Options.
Step 2: Choose Computer & Contacts and then create a difficult password.
- Set up Two-Factor Authentication
On TeamViewer, you can also set up two-factor authentication after creating a complex password. This can behave as a rock-solid barrier for hackers and malware groups. You are adding another security layer to your account via two-factor authentication. All you have to do is install Google Authenticator on your device; the app creates security codes every time you log in to your account.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Sign in to your account and choose Extras > Options.
Step 2: Go to Computers & Contacts > Manage two-factor authentication and follow the instructions.
- Update Your TeamViewer Application
There is a reason why every mobile app requires an update now and then. The app developers are constantly looking for security flaws and creating update patches for extra protection. This is the reason why you should update your TeamViewer application regularly, whether you are a desktop or mobile version.
High-End Security Protocols (Best-Suited for Remote Workers)
Besides using basic security like changing the password and updating the application, there’s, even more you can do to have greater control over TeamViewer. There is a built-in menu that offers more security on your account based on the type of your everyday usage. Not many users know about this security setting, but we are here to help you out with every intricate detail.
Here is how you can access the advanced settings on TeamViewer:
Step 1: Login to your account and select Extras > Options.
Step 2: Choose Advanced.
Step 3: Now, choose Show advanced options.
Step 4: Select Full Access > Configure.
Step 5: Here is a new window that shows all granular control settings on TeamViewer.
Now, you can configure these settings based on your tailored needs. For instance, don’t allow “Connect and view my screen” if you are setting up a remote computer on your home network. For a detailed description of The Access Control Function, visit Page 91 of the TeamViewer Manual 11.
We will also share a few necessary answers here that might be lurking in your mind:
- Should I allow Transfer Files? No, you should always select “After confirmation.” If you allow Transfer files, hackers might access your private or company files after penetrating your network.
- Should I allow the local TeamViewer? That’s your call. If you are using your personal computer from a remote location, set the option to “Denied.” But if you are configuring the option for a loved one, then go for “After confirmation.”
- Should I allow a VPN connection? You can either select “Denied” or “After confirmation” for this option. But VPNs can benefit your network altogether; a Virtual Private Network can encrypt your internet traffic and hide your identity, so it keeps the hackers even more at bay.
- Should I allow File transfer using the file box? Like other options on the configuration settings, choose “After confirmation” to ensure a known person accepts your transferred files.
TL;DR: Select “After confirmation” for every option to protect your private files. Even if a stranger gained access to your TeamViewer account, you can still save your personal documents with this configuration setting.
Create a Strong Random Password for Every Session
On the Advanced settings for connections to this computer, you can select and choose the Generate new option to create a new password for TeamViewer sessions. If this option is a bit too much and you frequently use TeamViewer for communication, then select the Keep current option.
All you have to do is sign in to your account > select Extras > Options > Advanced > Show Advanced > Generate new.
6 Best TeamViewer Alternatives
We understand that it can be difficult to switch to another application once you get a TeamViewer hold. But privacy matters, pal. If you are unsure about TeamViewer and don’t want to follow all the security protocols that are mentioned above, then here are a few alternatives that you can try:
- Chrome Remote Desktop
An easy-to-use browser extension that allows you to remotely access devices on the network. On the other hand, you can’t schedule a video call, message someone, or share screens with your co-workers.
- VNC Connect
This application uses 128-bit AES encryption and is a better alternative to TeamViewer privacy-wise. The somewhat expensive and no conference call support, however, are downsides to the product.
- LogMeIn Pro
With LogMeIn, you have adequate space on the server to store private files and documents. The application used bank-grade security, which includes 256-bit AES encryption and TLS 1.2 transport. But LogMeIn doesn’t give you an option to set up conference calls, so make up your mind accordingly.
- Take Control
At only $19 per month, Take Control can be a good bargain considering you can use the application to offer remote support on many devices. You can also use this application for transferring files and texting.
Mikogo helps you to gain remote access to a computer using a desktop or mobile device. From a recording option to live chat and whiteboard feature, there are many amazing ways to use this application.
- Dameware Remote Everywhere
We have probably saved the best for the last. Dameware is a cloud-based online tool that can help you message many users, restart computers, and take screenshots of remote device screens at any time you want.
Are You Still Scratching Your Head?
There are two options here. You can either use our suggested TeamViewer alternatives or set up TeamViewer security protocols and configure the entire product on your own. If you are more TeamViewer bound, we suggest following all the step-by-step instructions mentioned above. I hope that clears up some confusion.
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