TalkTalk and remote support

Remote support is where one person helps another with their computer by connecting to it over the Internet and sharing its screen, while the people talk on the phone. I’m increasingly using remote support because:

TalkTalk’s block

The Internet provider TalkTalk blocks popular remote support tools on the grounds that they can be used to defraud people. You’re probably familiar with the scam: you receive a call from someone pretending they work for Microsoft, for example, and have found a fault with your computer—and can use remote support to help. If you fall for it, you:

And you feel silly afterwards because this scam has been around for years and you thought it could never happen to you. It’s horrible, and anyone who’s been a victim has my sympathy.

But a blanket ban on remote support tools is not the answer. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater—using a sledgehammer to crack a nut—whatever you call it, it’s an overreaction, and a real spanner in the works for people like me doing our job. Besides, if blocking remote support tools was a sensible way to protect people, all Internet providers would be doing it and there’d be no such thing as remote support anymore.

Removing the block

Luckily, the block is not set in stone. TalkTalk customers can allow remote support tools in two ways:

Turning off a ‘safety’ feature might sound like a foolish move, but really, all you need to avoid computer support scams is to: