Securing Remote Desktop for Windows XP

Do you use the Microsoft Remote Desktop client to connect to your Northeastern PC from off-campus? Information Technology Services wishes to bring to your attention the importance of properly configuring your Remote Desktop Client. The default configuration of Remote Desktop when it is first activated in Windows does not meet our standards of data protection.   There are several configuration changes that need to be in place to ensure that your computer is only accessible to you and those you designate.

To ensure that all computers on campus have the appropriate settings configured, Information Technology Services will push out changes to your PC’s Remote Desktop settings on Tuesday, November 9th. These changes will be the first of several designed to ensure the safe and secure use of Remote Desktop connections to Northeastern University computers from off-campus locations.

To ensure that the Remote Desktop functionality of your computer remains active you must take the following steps:

Securing Remote Desktop for Windows XP

Limit users who can log on remotely

1.    In the Control Panel, double click System, then click the Remote tab (alternately you can right click on My Computer and select properties, then Remote tab).

2.    To enable Remote Desktop, select “Allow users to connect remotely to this computer.”

3.    Click “Select Remote Users.”

4. Click Add to grant Remote Desktop access to a user. Add only the users who you want the ability to log in remotely.  Please note: This window incorrectly states that the Administrators group can connect even if they are not listed and that your username already has access. You must add your username to retain access.


5.    Type the username of a user you want to add in the Enter The Object Names To Select field, and then click Check Names. Please note: “From this location” should default to “nunet.neu.edu”, if not, click Locations… double click “Entire Directory” and select nunet.neu.edu.

6.    If a match is found, the full account name will populate. Click OK.

7.    Click OK or Add additional users if needed.

8 . Click OK to close the System Properties window.

Remote access from off-campus should always be performed though the secure University VPN and never from any unsecure location such as an open wireless or public network such as Comcast or FIOS without using the VPN.

If you have problems with the changes to your configuration of Remote Desktop Services, you should contact the Northeastern Helpdesk (617.373.4357) to have a member of the Customer Services team walk you through the appropriate steps for proper configuration.

Remember: An incorrectly configured machine can be a potential security risk and may unnecessarily expose sensitive and private data.

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