How Can I Tell If Someone Is Monitoring My PC?
Computer spies can attack you using hardware, software and the Internet. Malicious websites can infect your PC with dangerous Trojans and keyloggers that monitor your activity and even steal private information such as bank account numbers. It is important to stay vigilant these days as new online and offline security threats arise. A periodic examination of your hardware and software can help you determine if someone is spying on you without your knowledge.
Examine the back of your computer where your keyboard cable plugs into the computer. Computer spies sometimes insert a hardware keylogger between your keyboard and the computer. These tiny devices intercept your keystrokes and route them over the Internet to someone else. Verify that you do not see unusual hardware in that location.
Click "Processes" to view all processes running on your computer. View the process names in the "Name" column. Make note of any processes that you do not recognize. Pay particular attention to processes that have no name. If you discover a questionable process, type the process name into a search box and search the Internet for information related to that process.
Install an anti-virus program. These programs scan your system and alert you if they find suspicious files, viruses or other malware. Run these programs periodically or schedule them to run according to the developer's recommendations.
Install a software anti-keylogger. These programs detect software-based keyloggers and alert you to their presence. Not all anti-virus programs detect keyloggers. Therefore, it is wise to install a separate program specifically designed to detect keyloggers. Some popular anti-keylogger brands are Anti-keylogger, Elite-Antikeylogger and Keyscrambler. These programs run unattended and monitor your system at all times.
Right-click My Computer and click "Properties" to open the System Control Panel. Click "Remote Settings" and verify that there is a check mark by, "Don't allow connections to this computer." Other users can connect to your computer using "Remote Desktop" if you leave this option unchecked.
Tips & Warnings
- If you need to allow other users to connect to your computer using Remote Desktop, uncheck the "Don't allow connections to this computer" option in the Control Panel. Users will need your computer name or IP address to connect.
References & Resources
- University of California Hastings College of the Law - Virus Protection
- Zdnet: Trojan Horses Steal Bank Details, Passwords
- Pcworld: Antivirus & Security | Software Downloads
- Anti-keylogger: Professional Anti-Spyware
- Elite-Antikeylogger: Detect Keylogger & Keyloggers, Remove Key Loggers, Anti Keylogger
- Qfxsoftware: QFX Software - Anti-Keylogging Software and More