How do I secure Remote Desktop on Windows 10?
“For some reason, my company decided to let 80% of its employees handle official business long-distance and I am one of them. We’re recommended to use Remote Desktop to remotely access our office computers and get the resources we need. I don’t know much about Remote Desktop before, but remote control sounds a little scary to me. How can I configure Remote Desktop on Windows 10 in order to achieve maximum security?”
4 options on how to secure Remote Desktop on Windows 10
Remote Desktop (also known as RDP) is a relatively safe remote desktop tool developed by Microsoft. It does, however, have some flaws. However, once you’ve properly set up Remote Desktop, there are some things we can do to ensure maximum Windows 10 Remote Desktop security. We have four options for you on how to secure RDP on Windows 10 here.
Option 1. Utilize a strong password
Let's start with the most obvious one. All of the users that you gave Remote Desktop access need to have strong passwords. Use more than eight characters (12+ is recommended) with numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, and special characters.
Option 2. Delete the default accounts and add new users manually
You’re recommended to remove the existing users and groups which have permission to log on as a Remote Desktop Services client and manually add the users you’d like to grant Remote Desktop access to. This isn’t an essential step, but it gives you more power over which accounts get to use Remote Desktop.
Step 1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box, type in “secpol.msc” and click OK.
Step 2. Navigate here: Local Policies > User Rights Assignment > Allow log on through Remote Desktop Services.
Step 3. Remove Administrators and Remote Desktop Users (or any other users or groups on your own computer) listed in this window.
Step 4. After that, click Add User or Group and manually add the users you’d like to grant Remote Desktop access to.
Option 3. Change the default Security settings
You may also need to change some default Remote Desktop Services Security settings to achieve maximum security.
Step 1. Open the Run dialog box, type in “gpedit.msc” and click OK.
Step 2. Navigate here: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Security. On the right pane, you’ll see multiple settings.
Step 3. Find Set client connection encryption level on the right pane. Change its status to Enabled. Then set the Encryption level from the drop-down list to High Level.
Step 4. Find Require secure RPC communication on the right pane. Change its status to Enabled.
Step 5. Find Require use of specific security layer for remote (RDP) connections on the right pane. Change its status to Enabled. Set the RDP security layer to SSL from the drop-down list.
Step 6. Find Require user authentication for remote connections by using Network Level Authentication on the right pane. Change its status to Enabled.
Option 4. Change the default RDP port number
By default, Remote Desktop listens on port 3389. But the default port number can be hacked anytime. Therefore, changing the default RDP port number can be a good way to safeguard the Remote Desktop.
Step 1. Open the Run dialog box, type in “regedit” and click OK.
Step 2. Navigate here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > System > CurrentControlSet > Control > Terminal Server > WinStations > RDP-Tcp. Scroll down and find PortNumber and then double click on it.
Step 3. Change the port number you like, such as 3390, and then select Decimal. Click on OK.
Secure alternative to RDP for remote access: AnyViewer
Although we’ve mentioned several ways to avoid RDP vulnerabilities, users still require a thorough solution for remote access. AnyViewer is the securer RDP alternative for remote access. It is secured by Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) encryption, protecting your data from leakage. Besides, it has the following advantages over RDP:
- It doesn’t require an IP address or computer name to achieve a remote connection, while RDP requires.
- It doesn’t require the two devices to be under the same network, while RDP requires. Otherwise, users of RDP need to set up port forwarding.
- It supports almost all versions of Windows, including Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 and Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012 R2, while RDP doesn’t support Windows 10/11 Home.
Step 1. Download, install, and launch AnyViewer on both computers.
Step 2. Go to Log in, and then click Sign up. (If you already have signed up on its official website, you can log in directly.)
Step 3. Fill in the signup information.
Step 4. Then you can see you successfully logged in to AnyViewer. Your device will automatically be assigned to the account you've logged in to.
Step 5. Log in to the same AnyViewer account on the two devices, then click Remote control to achieve unattended remote access.
With this one-click connection method, no one else can access your computer if you keep your account and password secretly.
✍Note: If you upgrade your account to a Professional or Enterprise plan, then you’ll have more rights:
- You can assign more devices to achieve unattended remote access.
- More currently connected devices will be displayed, which is convenient for you to view more connection histories at any time.
- You can connect to another computer in privacy mode, which means you can black the screen and block the mouse and keyboard of the remote computer, further protecting your privacy.
In this post, we mainly give you four options on how to secure Remote Desktop on Windows 10 after setup. If you have all the settings configured, the Remote Desktop Connection will be securer. Also, you can use a secure RDP alternative, AnyViewer. Secured by Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) encryption, it provides you with safe remote connections. Besides, its features like one-click connection and privacy mode can better protect user privacy.