One of the beautiful things about using SmartPhones like the iPhone, or my Android-based Droid is that I can now access my computer from literally anywhere, and I don’t even need to carry a notebook computer to do it.
Of course, that’s one of the ugly things too; being connected all the time means either that you let your work take over your life or you create rules to prevent that.
There are a few things that my Droid isn’t able to do for me without some help, though, and since they’re among the most important and common things I do, like checking to-do items in Outlook and taking notes that end up in that software, I rely on remote control software to get me logged into my Exchange server.
And yesterday I ripped LogMeIn out of my server and my Droid, because it presents a security risk that just doesn’t need to be there.
Let me start by saying that this disappointed me tremendously. LogMeIn is pretty darned good at remote control, and even has a free version. It works across platforms (Mac, PC, Linux, whatever) and is without a doubt the simplest way for people who need occasional remote control abilities to get things set up.
But yesterday I discovered that when I use LogMeIn my screen and mouse come to life. Meaning that if someone happens to be in my office my previously locked-down computer becomes open and available to them because I’ve logged in using LogMeIn.
And that’s not OK. It should be the least of my security worries, of course, and it is. I’m not actually worried about anyone with physical access to my computer doing bad things, and I have nothing on there that I need to hide. BUT LOGMEIN OPENING UP YOUR COMPUTER THIS WAY MAKES NO SENSE.
When I have my laptop and a WiFi signal and need to get at the computers in my office, I use software built right into Windows to access them. I can even do it from an Apple Macintosh. And that software, Remote Desktop, is no more difficult to use than LogMeIn, takes only a little bit longer to get set up, and when I log into my computer remotely IT LOCKS OUT ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE AT THE COMPUTER AND IT SHUTS OFF THE SCREEN, KEYBOARD, AND MOUSE.
And yes, I have software on my Droid that works with Remote Desktop.
So Why Use LogMeIn?
This is the part of the piece where I’m supposed to present a counterargument and tell you that LogMeIn may not be much easier to set up, but that the slight advantage is worth something. And I suppose that’s true if you really don’t have the wherewithal to pull Remote Desktop together. But that’s just not good enough; if you’re going to use advanced business tools and pay for data plans on SmartPhones you also need to take a couple of other steps from time to time. And if you really can’t figure it out, call us at The Computer Answer Guy or PC-VIP and we’ll get you running.
Leaving big security holes open isn’t an option. LogMeIn may sound great, but the hole I noticed yesterday is too big to ignore.
LogMeIn reminds me of a line from Jurassic Park: Just Because Your Can Doesn’t Mean You Should.