“Please would you share your screen with me?” – a question we’re not used to hearing that may immediately spark questions and make us feel vulnerable. Our co-founder Nicola talks through the benefits of screen sharing, how to do it safely, how it works and looks to answer your questions.
What does ‘screen sharing’ mean?
Put simply, it allows the person you are talking to on your computer to see what you can see on your computer screen. It is the digital equivalent to them looking over your shoulder so you can show them what you are talking about.
How does it work?
When you join a call with How Do I?, we’ll ask if you’d like to share your screen so that we can see where you’re getting stuck. There’s no obligation to if you’d prefer not to, it just helps us solve your queries quicker as it saves you having to describe what you see – instead, we can see what you see!
A button will pop up asking you if you’d like to share your screen (the choice is always yours, never ours). You can choose to share just the programme your currently using, or your whole screen for the duration of the call, even if you change programme. Our website will then send a live image of what’s on your screen to our screen, so we can go on the journey with you as we talk you through how to solve your problem.
How do I know you don’t have control of my computer?
If someone had control of your computer, you would be able to see them move the mouse on your screen. Before that could happen, you would have also needed to have downloaded a remote access software (something we never ask you to do) or turn on the in-built remote access you have on your computer and enter our computer’s information.
If you are concerned that someone has had control of your computer, there are a couple of ways you can check this. Please see our blog on this here.
Why do you need to screen share?
If you choose to share your screen with your How Do I? advisor, there are a few benefits:
- It enables you to show us exactly what you are experiencing in real time and explain your issue easily
- It saves you having to take screenshots or email over information to demonstrate your issue (another frustration in itself!)
- It is more secure than emailing over information
- As they can see how you use your computer, it means that your advisor can impart any extra skills they think might be worth sharing with you
- If you’ve elected for us to send you the recording of the call, it makes for a much more useful session to watch back and learn from
You will always know if you are screen sharing and you will always be able to end it at any point.
What can you see?
You can choose what to share: your whole screen (whatever you see), a specific programme (eg. Google Chrome, My Pictures, Spotify) or a specific tab on your web browser. Depending on what you choose, we can only see what you see. It is the same idea as if you have projected your computer screen onto our walls. For us it is completely static until you move it.
Can I control my computer when I’m screen sharing?
Yes. The only change with screen sharing is that we can see what you are doing, as if we were in the room with you, helping you with your issue.
You will always know if you are screen sharing and you will always be able to end it at any point. This is because you need to give permission to the programme you are using if you wish to screen share and once you have done so, there will always be a taskbar that appears with a ‘stop screen share’ button option.
So in summary:
- Screen sharing is like a projection, it helps people see what you see as if they were in the room
- It makes understanding your issue quicker and easier and helps you get the most out of your call
- You have complete control over what is happening and can end the share at any point
- As it is just an image share, the other person cannot control your computer
We hope this helps, if you’re not sure or have any questions or suggestions for an article, please let us know or if you’d like someone to walk you through your computer questions, book in a call with one of our expert UK-based tech advisors.