Zoom Remote Control: Stay Vigilant

Zoom screen sharing is very useful. Remote control sounds similar, but our suggestion is – Zoom Remote Control: Stay Vigilant.

What is Zoom Remote Control?

Zoom contains the ability to share screens. This allows users to show one another what they are doing on their computer screen or just portions of it. A newer feature related to screen sharing recently came to our attention. It is called remote control.

This is a feature that you can enable/disable in settings. It allows the meeting host to provide 1:1 remote support to another participant. This facility is called remote access. It needs to be enabled, and you then allow the host to provide support within a specific meeting. When turned on, the host can access the portion of your computer that you are screen sharing. This access can including everything on your screen, if that is what you shared.

Remote access is a common practice for technical support, however at SDM we won’t request remote access to your computer.

Why do we recommend “Zoom Remote Control: Stay Vigilant”?

While there are many legitimate uses for remote access, it is also a common practice for scamming individuals. Scammers use a variety of methods to scare and confuse people into thinking that they need the scammer to fix a “problem” they have fabricated. The victims are usually led to download software that allows for Remote Access or Remote Control, such as team viewers. The difference now is that with Zoom’s popularity, it presents scammers with a potential new medium. Victims may be less suspicious using software they already know. The scammer only has join you in a Zoom meeting and have you agree to the sharing. It might involve changing a setting instead of requiring downloading and installing software.

How do I turn Remote Control on and off?

Let’s look at the Zoom settings, breaking down how to get there, and how to tell if it is on or off. We will cover situations that MAY be a good reason to use this feature later in this post, however most of the time we recommend you keep this feature off. Let’s go ahead and make sure it’s off now! 

  1. Go to www.zoom.us and click “sign in” in the top right hand corner – you cannot change this setting in the Zoom app.
  2. Enter the information you use to sign into your Zoom account and click on Settings on the left hand side menu (if you don’t use an account you do not have access to these settings)
  3. You will now be in the “Meeting” tab indicated towards the top of the page
  4. Scroll down until you are in the sub-section “In Meeting (Basic)”
  5. Scroll down a bit further until you see “Remote Control” in bold that has a circle inside an oval to the right of “Remote Control”
  6. The circle inside of the oval is a toggle switch to turn on and off the “Remote Control” feature
  7. To ensure that it is off, the toggle switch will be a grey oval with the white circle on the left side of the oval. This is what we want!
  8. If the oval is blue and the white circle is on the right side of it, that means the setting is turned on which is not what we want!
  9. Simply clicking on the toggle switch changes it from on or off to the other.

Summary

The only time you would turn this on is if someone whom you trust is going to remotely help you fix/do something on your computer. Here at the SDM Foundation we don’t use this feature because you have the right for your computer, and any information on it, to be private. In addition, our focus is on teaching people, not doing repairs or making changes for them.

Nobody will ever urgently need you to give them remote access to your computer, Someone saying that is most likely a scammer pretending to be from a service you use. Anytime you are unsure about something along those lines, please give us a call and we will happily discuss and determine with you what steps to take next. Here are Zoom’s notes about Remote Control.

If you have specific questions, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

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