VNC - Virtual Network Computing

Ever wish you could have someone from ITS sitting right next to you while you’re having a computer problem? Wish you could get them to see what you are seeing a little more clearly?

With VNC (Virtual Network Computing), the Technology Help Desk can setup a virtual session with you in seconds and see exactly what you are seeing.

Note – VNC is available only on Luther owned workstations.

What is VNC?

VNC is a remote control utility that allows a technician to see your computer screen and perform work on it from a remote location such as the Help Desk.

Why Use VNC?

VNC is a tool for ITS staff to help solve complicated problems or understand a situation better without being physically present. Not only is this more efficient and effective, it will also allow us and you to learn by example on how to solve similar problems in the future. By watching our mouse movements or keystrokes, you can see everything we do. Nothing is hidden.

Privacy and Security Concerns?

As with any technology, we hope that you consider the data privacy and security issues involved before diving in head first.

Although often overlooked, the physical security of your workstation is one of the most important aspects of limiting access to your private data. Think about how you access your data – from unlocking your office door to entering passwords. Then repeat the process as if you were the next person walking by. From that simple exercise, you’ve gone a long way in understand the level of privacy of your data.

Of course, there is more than just physical security. The most likely concern with VNC is “Can someone watch what I’m doing on my workstation without me knowing?” or “Can someone remotely access my computer while I’m not there?”

The answer to both questions is No. ITS has taken several precautions with VNC to ensure your data privacy and security remains intact whether or not you are at your computer.

  1. A VNC session is initiated with a ‘hand shake’ protocol. This means that a VNC session must be accepted by someone siting at your workstation. You can choose to Accept or Decline the connection.
  2. ITS must enter a password before we are able to remotely control your workstation. This means that only ITS staff have the ability to ask if you’d like to start a VNC session. Remember – even with the password, we cannot access your computer without your active approval.
  3. Before each VNC session, ITS needs specific information about your workstation – the VNC Number (or IP Address). Without someone physically retrieving the information, a connection is impossible.
  4. ITS staff will only ask you to accept a VNC session while in verbal contact with you. If a message appears on your screen asking to accept or deny a VNC session and you haven’t been asked by ITS staff, you can (and should) decline.
  5. When a VNC session is active, you will see the VNC icon change appearance in the lower right corner of your screen. GREEN means an Inactive Session (normal). BLACK means an Active Session (someone is connected).

How Can You Get VNC?

All Luther owned workstations have VNC installed by default. If VNC is not working, contact the Technology Help Desk.