Have you ever had a technical issue with a software program or your PC which you couldn’t solve on your own?
In such cases, a desktop-sharing app like AnyDesk can help you contact a professional to help you solve your issue remotely.
However, since you share your desktop with another person, you may have many security concerns.
Can AnyDesk expose your data and cause security issues?
Is AnyDesk Safe?
Yes, AnyDesk is a legitimate desktop-sharing app that thousands of users and enterprises use.
It’s highly secure because it uses several layers of data protection and encryption to ensure user data remains safe.
In addition, it has different privacy settings enabling users to choose who can access their devices and how.
However, the biggest security threat associated with AnyDesk is hackers accessing users’ devices through social engineering tactics.
For example, they pretend to be from a legitimate company’s support team and ask users to share their desktops using AnyDesk.
Then, they steal the user’s credentials to hack their other accounts.
In such cases, the user has the highest responsibility to remain safe.
AnyDesk Security Features
AnyDesk has multiple security measures to address various concerns and threats.
In addition, it keeps posting useful tips on its social media channels to inform its users about security threats and how to avoid them.
Most users worry that third parties may intercept their connections or access their devices without permission.
AnyDesk addresses these concerns through the following:
1. Encrypted Connection
AnyDesk uses encryption services to prevent connection interception.
These encryption standards have military-grade security used in online banking.
The TLS 1.2 technology encrypts your connection through RSA 2048 key exchange, which is asymmetric and requires two sets of keys, one for encryption and the other for decryption.
This advanced encryption process provides two layers of security, and the software will remove the connection as soon as it detects discrepancies.
In addition, no third party can decrypt your connection and data thanks to the Salted Password Hashing method.
2. Flexible Settings
AnyDesk has several security settings that give you full control over who can access your device and what parts they can access.
You can specify the software and hardware components of your device to be accessed by the other participant.
The app even allows you to change your settings during the session.
You can use different settings to allow the other party to access your device only with your permission.
Also, you can control and limit the number of people who can access your device by giving them your unique ID.
If they don’t have your ID, they can’t access your device.
You can even decide to hide your screen from the other party by activating the Screen Privacy mode, only sharing your desktop when it’s convenient.
3. Closed And Secure Network
Depending on your needs and conditions, you can connect to AnyDesk through different servers.
AnyDesk allows you to use your business or AnyDesk’s own servers to get a more secure connection.
Using AnyDesk’s servers, you enter a closed network that’s less prone and even immune to interceptions.
Even businesses with high-security concerns can choose the on-premises option to create a closed, secure network within their organization.
This option makes data transmission limited within the company servers.
4. Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a robust security feature that adds another layer of protection to your AnyDesk connection.
You need a mobile app that can generate time-limited single-use passwords.
With the two-factor authentication enabled, a QR Code is generated when you start a session.
Then, you scan the code into the app, giving you a verification code, which you should enter in AnyDesk.
This way, you can ensure that only you and the other party can access the session.
In addition to all these security measures, you can see when someone accesses your device.
The app shows you this by receiving a message and an icon on the corner of your screen.
Security Issues With AnyDesk
Although AnyDesk strives to maintain the utmost security for its app, sessions, and users, you might hear horror stories of users getting scammed through this screen-sharing platform.
For example, in 2021, a group of hackers bypassed AnyDesk’s security features by running the app in Safe Mode.
In another incident, scammers accessed the bank accounts of AnyDesk users through SIM-swapping.
However, these examples show scammers accessed the users’ devices and bank account information through social engineering.
These incidents can happen to any app with the highest security levels.
The main reason is that bypassing security barriers is much more difficult than tricking users.
They’re simply human beings that may be easily manipulated if they’re not vigilant.
Here’s how you may get scammed through social engineering:
When you download the AnyDesk app from the official website, you get the app without any attached software.
However, many malicious websites offer the app for download, leading the unsuspicious user to download bloatware with the main app.
These websites make their way up to the search engine’s first results.
In many cases, the user is desperate to solve an issue with the help of a remote expert, hastily downloading the app without paying attention to the website.
These dubious websites install bundles of other software with the AnyDesk app, which may contain malware or ransomware.
2. Hackers Impersonating Others
Cybercriminals have creative methods of scamming users and deceiving them to take their desired actions.
With AnyDesk, they need to make you install the app and give them access to your device so that they can get hold of your personal data.
In such cases, they pretend to be someone else, like a customer service rep, your PayPal or ISP support team, or your bank’s agent.
In one of the scams mentioned above, the fraudsters impersonated real estate agents who wanted to sell a house.
They convinced victims to install AnyDesk to send them more pictures of the house.
As soon as they access your device, they can do anything, such as infecting your device with malware or stealing your information.
How To Avoid AnyDesk Security Issues
With high-level security measures offered by AnyDesk, you can rest assured that no one can access your device unless you allow them.
You can even decide whether other people can send you requests or not.
Therefore, AnyDesk can be as insecure as other apps if you don’t use it vigilantly.
You should practice the same precautions you would with installing any other app, in addition to taking some extra considerations specific to AnyDesk.
Here’s how you can avoid AnyDesk-related scams.
1. Connect Only With People You Trust
As mentioned, fraudsters win the trust of unsuspecting users by pretending to be someone else.
You should be extra cautious when agreeing to install AnyDesk and giving your password to the other person.
If someone contacts you about an emergency issue with your internet account, Amazon purchase, or bank account and asks you to install AnyDesk to help you, immediately hang up the phone.
Then call the company’s support center and ask them if that’s a normal course of action.
Most of the time, the support center will tell you that you were talking to a scammer, and that’s not how they address issues in their company.
A company’s support team often doesn’t need to access your PC or smartphone.
In addition, when issues arise, they don’t call you.
You should call them and ask them how to solve them.
Always think twice before giving another person access to your device.
Don’t let them trick you into clicking suspicious links or installing the app by giving you a sense of urgency due to a serious issue.
Nothing is serious enough for you to compromise your device security.
2. Practice Cyber Hygiene
You can also avoid getting scammed by criminals if you practice general internet hygiene.
For starters, always install AnyDesk from the official website.
Don’t click on the first link on the search engine’s result page.
Make sure you’re on AnyDesk’s official webpage by carefully checking the website and inspecting the page URL.
Look for any misspellings in the address and the extensions.
AnyDesk’s website offers the app via direct download links, so you don’t need to enter another page to download the app.
In addition, they don’t force you to download and install any other app or software.
If someone sends you an AnyDesk download link, don’t click it.
Instead, go to the official website and download it from there.
3. Keep Everything Private
Do you give out your bank account credential easily?
Of course not.
You should do the same with your AnyDesk ID.
Think of it as a gateway to your personal data and sensitive information.
Don’t give it to anyone unless you know and trust them.
You can also use AnyDesk’s privacy settings, such as Session Permission Profiles, to limit other people’s access.
This way, even if a person has your password, they can’t connect to your device because you don’t allow them to.
What To Do if You Get Scammed Through AnyDesk
If someone tricks you into giving them access to your device, you should immediately take action to prevent serious problems.
The first thing to remember is that you shouldn’t blame yourself for being the subject of a scam.
Scammers use clever and varied ways to trick people into thinking they’re legitimate.
Anyone can fall victim to these clever tricks.
AnyDesk works with authorities to block these criminals and take action against them.
You should first contact the AnyDesk support team and tell them about the scammer.
They block the scammer’s user account and do follow-up activities if necessary.
Meanwhile, you should make sure your information remains safe.
Change all of your passwords and any personal data that can be used to hack your bank accounts.
You may also want to take your device to a security or IT specialist and see what parts are compromised and how you can solve the issues.
Finally, contact your local authorities and tell them about the scam, especially if you’ve lost money.
Note. AnyDesk has a form that you can fill in to report abuse and attempts to scam you.
By filling out this form, you can help them find scamming patterns and boost the platform’s security.
General Guidelines To Avoid Social Engineering
Scamming efforts aren’t limited to AnyDesk.
If you use the internet for any purpose, you risk getting scammed through social engineering.
1. Always Be Suspicious
Being suspicious isn’t bad when it comes to security on the internet.
You should always be vigilant because scams through social engineering are widespread.
As mentioned, reputable companies don’t contact you by cold calling.
Always ensure the person contacting you is from a reliable and legitimate source.
Ignore any help request or offer or any message that wants your credentials.
Instead, familiarize yourself with how your bank or tech companies whose services you use communicate with their customers and don’t respond to those who don’t follow these patterns.
2. Use Spam Filters
Most mainstream email services have strong spam filters that block unsolicited messages from entering your inbox.
These services also allow you to adjust the filters to get varying degrees of filter strength.
If a spam email gets through, opening the email doesn’t give your system viruses.
You don’t need to panic.
Just be careful not to click on any links or attachments inside the email, as they’re dangerous and can infect your system.
3. Keep Everything Up To Date
Outdated software is hackers’ favorite tool to get into users’ devices through the software’s security holes.
Software developers identify these vulnerabilities and remove them through updates.
If you don’t keep your software updated, you’ll miss the chance to address these vulnerabilities and keep your device exposed.
By software, we mean everything, from your third-party apps to hardware drivers and the operating system.
Windows addresses threats by releasing security patches, which are vital to install.
4. Use An Antivirus
Antiviruses and firewalls can help you stay on top of security threats by identifying and removing them.
Windows Defender is a reliable tool that protects your device in different aspects.
Windows firewall blocks unauthorized access and doesn’t allow you to download files from suspicious sources.
You may also want to use third-party antiviruses for higher protection if you use your device for mission-critical purposes.
5. Choose Strong Passwords
Weak passwords are always vulnerable to theft because hackers first try to guess your passwords.
Choosing strong and complex passwords helps you remain protected.
Choose non-dictionary passwords long enough to contain symbols, letters, and numbers.
In addition, never use the same password for two accounts.
Although having one password for every account is easier and more manageable, it’s highly insecure.
If hackers access the password for one of your accounts, all other accounts are compromised.
You can use a password manager to avoid losing or forgetting your passwords.
6. Keep Your Information Private
Social engineering criminals use a specific tactic to gather information about you and use it when they contact you.
The more information they have about you, the higher your chances of trusting them.
They can get this information from your social media accounts or any platforms you use to share your personal details.
Therefore, it’s essential to keep your social media accounts as private as possible.
Adjust your accounts’ privacy settings so only trusted people can see your personal info.
If attackers don’t know much about you, they will have a harder time winning your trust.