How to Spot Remote Viewing or Other Computer Spying
Remote viewing or computer spying are used in work or school environments for security purposes, but some people use downloadable software programs in households to monitor family members' activities. If you're disclosing important information on a computer and someone's connected to your session without your permission, then the person can receive fines or jail time under the Privacy Protection Act. Union contracts and public sector employees are protected under the Fourth Amendment, which limits the employer's rights to monitor you.
Search on your computer for third-party software, commonly known as remote-control software or virtual network computing (VNC) software. Click "Start" to display the menu and select "All Programs." On the secondary menu screen, search for software with the names VNC, GoToMyPC, LogMeIn, RealVNC, TightVNC and UltraVNC. These programs allow users to remotely view or spy on your computer.
Type in the program's name in a search engine if you're unsure about any downloaded applications. This will determine if the program allows other users to access your computer. If any unknown software is installed, it can hide itself as a Windows service and view your computer without your knowledge. This is known as spyware -- a computer program that gathers sensitive information about the user by using bots or tracking software.
Check the icons below where the task bar is located. When remote viewing is accessed by a different computer, it needs to continuously run. Hover the arrow cursor over each icon to get a brief description. If suspicious activity is suspected, search the Internet to see what comes up about the unknown software. However, third-party applications can still run through other parts of the computer.
Click "Start," select "Control Panel," then "Security Center." Click the "Windows Firewall" icon to pull up a window. Select the "Exceptions" tab. Uncheck both "Remote Assistance" and "Remote Viewing." Removing the check marks will block the programs from running. View the list of programs that match VNC software and uncheck those boxes.
Access the "Windows Task Manager" by simultaneously pressing "Ctrl," "Shift" and "Esc" on the keyboard. Select the "Processes" tab and scroll down the column that says "User Name." The only names that should display are your Local Service, Network Service, System and your user name. Any other names mean that there is someone else logged onto your computer. This will help spot unwanted viewing of your computer.
Check to see if someone is viewing your web-browsing activities. Click "Start," then "Control Panel" and "Network and Internet Connections." Click the "Internet Options" icon to pull up a window. Select the "Connections" tab and click "LAN Settings." Under where it says, "Proxy server" if the box is checked with a local IP address and a port number, then software is used to view or spy on your visited websites.