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When I use VNC or RDP to remotely control my office computer, as far as I'm aware, someone standing in front of my computer could be seeing everything I'm doing. Furthermore, if I lose my connection then the computer will still be logged in (i.e. not locked) so someone in my office could do whatever they wanted with my login credentials.

Is there a way to remotely access ones machine that doesn't compromise privacy from someone who may be physically in front of the machine?

EDIT: I'm using tightVNC or realVNC to access Ubuntu Linux. Sometimes I work with Windows machines too so the RDP answer is also valid/interesting.

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If doing RDP, what you are doing on the PC will not be visible to local users. Instead they will see a box which is saying something like "UserA is currently logged in remotely." They will be able to try to log into that PC normally but will require admin rights to do so as it will terminate your session.

I'm not sure about VNC.

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Depending on the VNC software often they will have a option to black the host screen. but you still run in to the disconnection issue. Also it depends on your version of windows if you are disconnected or not. Server editions can have 2-4 simultaneous users (depending on version) without licences, after that you can pay extra and have potentially unlimited users on the server (the only limit being the hardware's ability to support that many simultaneous users, and your wallet's ability to support that many licenses) – Scott Chamberlain Nov 16 '12 at 7:14
@Cory Smith: If he uses VNC then his concerns are valid. But (as you already mentioned) not when he uses RDP. – Hennes Nov 16 '12 at 7:21

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