How to Detect If Somebody Is Monitoring My Internet Activity

By Todd Bowerman

There are many ways for employers and family members to secretly monitor any activity that happens on their networks. Motivations for this monitoring can range from concern over inappropriate content being viewed to legal liability issues. For example, illegally downloading music on your work computer could get the company in trouble. While not all third-party spying methods can be spotted, there are a few methods available that should help you get an idea of who is tuning in to your activity.

Step 1

Check your taskbar. Most Internet-monitoring programs have an icon that appears on the Windows taskbar. You can find the taskbar in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen; look at the programs that are running and examine the ones that seem suspicious.

Step 2

Open the Windows Start menu and select "Control Panel." Click "Windows Firewall." Programs that monitor your network activity must be granted access to your computer, and many times will open ports in your firewall. Click the "Exceptions" tab to view all programs that currently have access to your computer--if you see something strange in there, run a quick Internet search to find out what it is.

Step 3

Press the "Ctl," "Alt" and "Delete" keys simultaneously to launch the Windows Task Manager. Click the "Processes" tab. From here, you can see all active processes on your computer. If you see any processes running under a different user name, investigate that process to find out what is going on.

Step 4

Open Internet Explorer and click "Tools" and then "Internet Options." Select "Connections" and click "LAN Settings." If the check box under "Proxy Server" is checked and you see a local Internet protocol address in the box, it means that every website you visit can be logged by a third party.