Information Technology

Remote Desktop User Support

Approved by the CPC on 3/10/2011; updated 11/15/2022

From time to time, IT staff may use remote management tools (e.g., Apple Remote Desktop), to access end-user computers to provide problem diagnosis, software repair, or other types of user support. At such times, the following procedures are to be observed.

Unless an urgent state exists (e.g., a user's computer is infected and may harm the contents of that computer or other networked computers), IT must always: 

  • inform an end-user (by phone, email, text message, etc.) of an intention to use remote management tools;
  • explain in simple terms what will happen when the remote access occurs, including the fact that you will be able to see whatever is on their screen;
  • explain that any confidential or sensitive files should be closed or otherwise removed from view;
  • be sure that the user understands and consents to the remote access;
  • perform the remote management while you are in direct communication with the user OR at a mutually agreed upon time;
  • if you need to change a pre-scheduled remote access operation, contact the user to obtain consent to perform the task(s) at a different time;

Remote access is disabled by default on Reed-owned faculty computers.
Remote access is enabled by default on Reed-owned administrative staff computers.

Occasionally, a user may wish to modify his or her remote access settings.  A user may also want some indicator showing when remote access is underway.  In the case of Apple Remote Desktop, these preferences are easily set within Mac OSX.  A wiki article describing this procedure is available.