Image Credit: Snapwire on Pexels
Is your work computer locked down to the point of keeping you from doing your work? As a business owner, this is something you can scarcely afford.
Do you have deadlines looming, clients waiting, but no way to work around the issue and gain access to your work in progress?
It’s possible, then, that you lack system administrator privileges. However, system administrator privileges often do more harm than good. They’re useful for stopping inexperienced users from overloading the system with viruses and useless programs. However, they can also keep more experienced users from being productive.
If you need access right now, with no delay, here are a few techniques that can get you to the right place quickly.
RELATED ARTICLE: PYTHON: VERSATILITY IN CODE DESIGN THAT YOUR TEAM MUST HAVE
The Control Panel Vectors Might Be Open
One of the problems with system administrator blocks is that they don’t block everything. Therefore, unless the system administrator is thorough, there are always alternate routes to your destination, even on your work computer.
This is where the term “backdoor” comes from. Instead of using the “front door” or main way of accessing something, you can check another option. Sometimes it’s a flaw within the software. Or sometimes your backdoor could be a legitimate way of using the software that wasn’t included in the blocking option.
A good example is accessing different parts of the Control Panel on Windows-based systems. The Control Panel is often the first set of tools that gets blocked, however. That’s because it holds a powerful set of tools to remove those blocks or bypass security.
In fact, the Control Panel is one of the main ways to restrict a work computer.
Try a Different Vector
What if you need to change your desktop resolution to something that isn’t stretched out and cut off? Some monitors have non-standard resolutions that Windows might not detect for an automatic change. However, you can force a resolution change on your work computer by trying different vectors or paths to access the display settings.
The first and easiest option is the Right Click > Screen Resolution or Display settings option on Windows 7 and newer. It’s pretty weird that locking Control Panel access allows display access with a right click. However, perhaps this was intentional. On the other hand, allowing workers to personalize their system is helpful, but it’s often accidental.
If it’s accidental, there’s a chance you have other exposed vectors on your work computer to take advantage of as well.
See If You Can Open Task Manager on Your Work Computer
The Task Manager is another powerful area. If you can open the task manager on your work computer, you can open and close many applications as long as deeper restrictions aren’t on the system.
For example, what if your system is blocked or monitored by third-party software? If your business doesn’t have IT staff and instead uses third-party programs, you could end that program’s task and use the computer in an unrestricted fashion.
Use Task Manager to Open Programs
A more likely technique would be to use Task Manager to open programs. If you know the name and location of certain applications, you can open them through Task Manager if they’re not visible on your desktop or start menu.
This is helpful when you can’t access hidden files. Pressing Ctrl+R on Windows systems also gives you access to the Run prompt for the same level of control. However, Run prompts are often the first things to be disabled.
Need to Visit Blocked Sites? Use a VPN
System administrators and network teams often block certain sites for security and productivity reasons. A good IT staff doesn’t want inexperienced employees to accidentally browse into a murky swamp of viruses and adware.
However, you don’t need a lot of technical skill or deep networking knowledge to use a VPN. The acronym stands for “virtual private network”. You can easily install VPN tools and unblock any website of your choice. Read this Surfshark guide which explains this further.
What’s more, you can install VPN tools on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. Especially in business settings, it’s important to use a tool that has a kill switch and a no logs policy. In this way, no outside party can track your VPN use.
If you need to get access to specific sites, your first step should be to put in a request with your system admin team and company leadership. Bypass doesn’t have to mean typing keys or downloading tools. Any resourceful business will review employee requests to make their work more efficient.
A VPN Creates a Secure Tunnel That Hides Your Activity
However, if that doesn’t work, you need a VPN. A VPN will create a secure tunnel that will hide your network activity. This will make it easier for you to navigate the web without restrictions.
Most businesses restrict the Internet using a firewall. Firewalls are programmed to block specific sites so that users can’t visit them. Alternatively, the business can configure the firewall to block everything except a few specific sites.
In most situations, businesses use a pre-built list of sites. Unless the business has suffered a major breach in the past, most businesses that want firewalls for security and productivity will trust a contractor to set up their system. It’s up to the contractor at that point to choose a firewall. What’s more, a contractor could be managing hundreds of contracts. This could lead to uniformity and complacency on the contractor’s part.
Complacency is your friend in these situations. Although it’s possible for businesses to crack down on VPN usage, it’s often more trouble than it’s worth. Businesses that need access to the Internet will be bogged down with Internet access requests. These requests create more work for the IT staff. And the business ends up spending more money as a consequence.
A Good VPN Will Protect You and Your Work Computer
Your privacy and productivity matter. And a good VPN will protect you better than a pre-built firewall that has no customization. Here are a few other features to expect from a powerful VPN suite:
Clean Web Browsing
Wouldn’t it be ridiculous if you escaped the work network and ran into viruses immediately? With a clean web browsing service, you won’t have to deal with ads, trackers, and malware.
Privacy Across Public WiFi
Whether you’re using the company WiFi or taking the work laptop out to lunch or on a business trip, a VPN can lock down your connection in a secure tunnel. Sip coffee or grab a burger in peace.
Transferring sensitive personal or business data over the Internet is risky, so your data needs encryption. Industry-leading encryption means that your information is locked down and scrambled with the best security available.
Break Free of Restrictions
To break free of restrictions and boost your productivity, don’t waste time looking up small fixes on the web. Instead, contact a VPN professional to discuss your system access needs.