You’re sitting at your computer, talking to technical support, and they ask you to run some software so they can help diagnose your computer problems. Next thing you know, your mouse is moving and your computer is doing odd things that you didn’t know it could do as the IT technician (who you may never have even met) is quickly and effortlessly controlling your computer until the support problem is resolved and the situation returns to normal. What do you think about this situation? Are you uncomfortable about another controlling your computer? Can they hack/hijack your computer?

No, nothing quite so dramatic. . . .

Now back to the above example. Your IT support technician has likely used remote desktop software to view and control your computer. This type of software allows customer support to troubleshoot your computer remotely, from anywhere in the world. It negates the need for in-person tech support, and it saves the time and cost of commuting. A member of the remote customer support team can connect to your computer, run software, de-glitch your system, and leave without a trace.

Understandably, this kind of conduct causes uneasy feelings in some people. . . . “It’s an invasion of my privacy!”, they yell. However, if they stop and think about it, it’s no less an invasion than normal technical support. In-person support must still log into your computer, and they still have complete access to all of your files and under-the-hood workings, and they still (more than likely) know far more than you do about your system. A couple of the benefits of remote customer support have already been listed, but here is a list of the top five:

  1.  It saves time. There is no need to wait on customer support to arrive and get settled, or for you to travel to the customer support center, where you might have to leave you computer for a few days even.
    2. It saves money. While the initial cost of the software may be expensive, the money saved by avoiding travel and service fees will pay for the software in due time. (Note: free desktop remote access solutions exist as well.)
    3. It protects your workspace. There won’t be workers in and out of your area, consulting with others and potentially messing with your files and organization scheme.
    4. It’s safe. No one likes to be alone in a building with someone else that isn’t known. Many work places are populated during the day, but quickly clear out at closing.
    5. It’s awesome. Admit it, you like watching your computer do weird things and go through processes that you didn’t even know existed.

Do you have any experience with remote customer support? Do you have any thoughts about the privacy factor? Please share them with us.