How to Tell If Your Internet Traffic Is Being Monitored
Workplaces usually supervise Internet traffic to monitor surfing habits among employees and to ensure that Internet users don't expose the network to potentially harmful or inappropriate websites. Internet monitoring software also helps promote productivity because employees who are abusing Internet usage can be reprimanded. This also holds true at homes. On the other hand, your computer may also become a victim of unauthorized Internet monitoring threats originating from spyware, adware or other types of intruding software. If you suspect that your Internet traffic is being monitored improperly, there are several steps you can take to find out.
Using the Task Manager
Access your computer's Task Manager screen by pressing "Ctrl," "Shift" and "Esc" on your computer keyboard.
Click the "Processes" tab displayed on the upper section of the Task manager window. This section shows you all the activities that are being processed in your computer.
Browse through the list of Processes and look beneath the section that says "User Name" to verify that all the processes are working under your computer's name. If one or more of the Processes have a different name, than you are being monitored by another system.
Using the Run Command
Click the "Start" tab on the bottom-left corner of your computer. Right-click on the option that says "Computer" or "My Computer" depending on your operating system.
Click "Properties" on the pop-up box and look next to where it says "Computer name:" to discover your computer's name. If you already know your computer's name you can skip this part.
Go to the "Start" menu again and type "run" in the text field located on the bottom-left corner of the Start menu. Type "cmd" in the text field displayed on the "Run" window and click "OK."
Type "netstat" next to the prompt that says "C:\Users\(Your Username)>" and hit "Enter" on your keyboard. Scroll through the results and ensure that the "Local Address" column displays your computer name for each result. If you see other computer names, proceed to identify if you have monitoring software.
Go to the "Start" menu, type "run" in the text field and type "msconfig" in the text bar on the "Run" window and click "OK" to launch the configuration utility. Here you will be able to check all the services and programs that are automatically launched every time you start your computer.
Look under the tabs that say "Startup" and "Services." You will have to click on each tab individually and investigate each one at a time. In the services, each service operating in your computer will display its manufacturer and a brief description of what the service consists of. Scroll through the list of programs and determine if there is any program that you find suspicious. If you find a program you don't recognize, use your search engine (such as Google) to research it and learn what it is for.
Tips & Warnings
- If you are being monitored at work do not attempt to disable the monitoring software because it could get you in trouble. However, if you find that what you have is spyware, use a spyware removal tool to get rid of the software monitoring your Internet traffic. Spyware Terminator is a free spyware removal tool you can use.
- You can also ask your IT department if Internet activities are monitored at your workplace.
- Always scan your computer with your anti-virus software to prevent adware or spyware threats. You can download free antivirus software such as AVG to protect your computer.