How to Tell If Your Computer is Being Monitored
Monitoring software not only invades your privacy, but it also can put you at risk as well. While some tracking software monitors only your computer and internet activity, other more malicious software—known as "keyloggers"—track your keyboard use. If you use your computer to access your bank account, school or other personal accounts, your user name and passwords can be transmitted to a third party.
This information then can be used against you by the recipient.
If you suspect you have tracking software installed on your computer, it's important that you remove such programs from your system as soon as possible. Click "Start" then "Control Panel. Scroll through the list of programs, searching for any unknown software.
If the program appears suspicious, enter the full name in a search engine for confirmation. If the program turns out to be monitoring software, right-click the program, then click "Uninstall" or "Remove. Download, install and run a third-party software like Perfect Uninstaller to remove stubborn programs that cannot be removed using Windows' program manager.
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Run the program in Window's Safe Mode and uninstall the monitoring software. Run and install the program.
There may be other ways to reveal a hidden spy program. If you find a keylogger on your system, you may not be able to access its settings, since the majority of these programs are password-protected.
At least you now know that someone really is spying on you. Though you may feel some chagrin about what the keylogger has recorded, the sense of betrayal at being spied upon is probably worse. However, employers can legally install any tracking software they want on company equipment, and most will undoubtedly feel justified in doing so.
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Disabling the program, or even mentioning its existence, may not be in your best interest. If the computer belongs to you or a member of your household, the situation is even more delicate. Disabling the software may alert its installer that you're on to him or her. If you attempt to get rid of the spy software but discover that it's password-protected preventing you from accessing its uninstall routine , you may be able to delete the program's files if you can figure out what they are called and where they are stored on your PC.
PestPatrol maintains a huge list of keyloggers--both commercial programs and those created by malicious hackers.
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If you've tried various tactics and you still can't get the keylogger off your system, try contacting the software maker. TrueActive states that it will assist you in removing its WinWhatWhere monitoring program if the company agrees with you that the software has been installed inappropriately. If all else fails, you can start over: Back up all of your data, reformat your hard disk, and then reinstall your operating system and applications.
To prevent someone from installing surveillance software on your computer, use an operating system that offers strict log-on security, such as Windows , Windows XP, or Linux. Windows 98 and Me provide less-restrictive log-on protocols. Be sure to choose strong passwords different from the ones you used previously if you just uninstalled a keylogger for any user accounts on the computer, and keep them to yourself.
Last December's column on installing and configuring firewalls generated a flood of reader mail, most of it asking for more details. The most common question I received was, "Should I use both a hardware-based firewall the kind built into a router's or gateway device's firmware and a software firewall that runs on my PC? The answer, which I didn't come right out and say in the column, is: Yes!
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The hardware router will do what it does best--masking the IP addresses of the PCs on your local network from the outside world--while the software firewall will provide a service that the hardware firewall can't easily , blocking rogue applications on your PC from opening outgoing connections to remote servers.
Privacy Encryption Antivirus. One of our favorite USB hubs and all the cables you'll ever need are at Finding the Stealth Apps It's disturbing that mistrust can support so many software companies.
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