Remote Support

Notice: By downloading the UST Remote Support application you are about to grant one-time permission for a UST Support Member to view your computer system. You will control your system and UST personnel will be able to watch your movements and provide guidance/troubleshoot your issue. Once the session has ended, UST personnel cannot share or gain access without a new session being initiated by you.

While it is not our usual practice to take control of your system, and UST personnel will not take control without prior written permission, please be aware that in extenuating circumstances we may request control of your system. You retain the ability to terminate the session at any time. You may terminate the session at any time using the red X that will appear on your screen, or by restarting your computer. No UST support staff member will ever ask for your Celt ID password or other sensitive data.  

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Frequently Asked Questions about Remote Support & TeamViewer

 What is remote support?

Remote support refers to a software tool that allows a support technician to access a user's computer in order to resolve a problem without having to talk the user through elaborate or confusing procedures on the phone, or facilitating a face-to-face meeting. The support technician can both view the user’s computer remotely.

What is TeamViewer?

TeamViewer is the remote support tool chosen by ITS. TeamViewer is an enterprise-class solution designed for large, service-oriented organizations. TeamViewer uses third-party security firms to undergo security testing, and to ensure it meets rigorous security, auditing, and policy standards (Read More).

TeamViewer allows technicians to share a user's view of their screen in order to support the user. By default, TeamViewer is configured to require user consent before each type of access is granted.

Can Remote Support be used off-campus?

Yes. Both the end-user and the technician can be in any location. Any network connection will work (that is, there is no need for additional security measures, such as VPN).

How secure is Remote Support?

All Remote Support versions use full encryption. Encryption is based on 1024bit RSA private/public key exchange and 256 Bit AES session encoding. This uses the same security level as https/SSL and is considered completely safe by today's standards. The key exchange also guarantees that the data channel is completely encoded from client to client and that any routers or servers in between (including our routers) are unable to read or analyze the data stream. Security and privacy have always been a top priority during development.

Who is allowed to use Remote Support to access other computers?

Technically, anyone with a free TeanViewer client can access any other computer running the Remote Support application, but ONLY if you, as the user, share your Remote Support ID and random password. It is highly recommend that you ONLY provide your Remote Support ID and password to an individual you know to be an official UST Support representative.  

Does this mean someone can access my computer whenever they want to?

No. For a typical session, the technician will request that you consent to a Remote Support session if they feel the issue cannot be resolved through standard support practices.  Please note this requires both your consent and cooperation.  This is not something any technician can do without your knowledge.

What does it mean for me to accept a Remote Support session?

The technician who initiates the session will be able to see exactly what you see on your screen. Most often, the technician will be on the phone with you, or remain in contact with you via a chat window on your screen.

What if I move my mouse or type on my keyboard?

By default, if you use your mouse or keyboard, it overrides the technician's actions. We recommend that you NOT take any actions unless specifically requested to do so by the technician.

Can I stop a session?

Yes. You can end the session at any time by clicking on the large white X surrounded by a red box that appears on your screen during the session. Restarting your computer will also terminate the session.

Are my sessions being recorded?

No. While Remote Support has the ability to record video of sessions, this capability is not executed by default or automatically at University of St. Thomas. Sessions can be recorded for training purposes at the consent of the end-user.  

How is my privacy protected? What is acceptable use of Remote Support?

Policies are in place to protect both the end-user and IT staff against breaches of privacy, and to define the appropriate use of technology. These policies apply to all IT services and activities including remote assistance using Remote Support or any other remote assistance tool.

Can the technician access everything on my computer?

No. First, access to anything that requires a password or authentication will not be accessible unless you type in the password. Second, you and the technician will see the same thing, so if the technician opens a file that you're not comfortable sharing with them, you can tell them so or end the session yourself.

Because the technician will be able to see any open documents on your screen, we strongly recommend that, before accepting the Remote Support session, you close all documents and applications that contain confidential information or that are not relevant to the issue being resolved.

I'm not sure I'm comfortable with someone being able to see my screen and move my mouse from another location. Is it really necessary?

Necessary? Maybe not, but it's very helpful in reducing costs and improving response time. Remote assistance is a valuable tool for quickly identifying and solving problems. It avoids the need to schedule faculty coming into the ITS office, or the cumbersome phone calls where you try to describe exactly what you're seeing and the technician tries to describe exactly the steps they want you to take. Many businesses, organizations, and academic institutions are using Remote Support and similar tools.

Remote Support will not be used in support of any type of surveillance activities by IT staff.If you are ever uncomfortable about actions taken during a remote session, please escalate your concerns to a higher level in your organization or your IT support organization.

What is installed on my computer?
When your situation will be helped by a Remote Support session and you give consent, you will be provided a link to download a very small software file  to your computer. When the session ends, this application can be either uninstalled or retained as you wish.

When a Remote Support session is over, does Remote Support leave anything on my computer?

Mostly no. The exception is when the technician has received your permission to "pin" your session. In this case, the Remote Support mini-client remains on your computer, which means you do not have to re-download the mini-client should you need another support session.