How to Tell If Your Internet Traffic Is Being Monitored

by Anthony Oster

Though many people consider their computer to be personal space, your privacy can be compromised by watchful employers, jealous exes and malicious hackers. Threats to your privacy occur most commonly through the use of stealth apps such as keystroke loggers and traffic monitors are used to track your online presence. Before eliminating the threat caused by these programs, you must first decipher if you are being monitored and who is monitoring your traffic.

Monitoring Your Outgoing Traffic

1

Click the Windows Start button and type "cmd" to launch the Command window, which will display as a black box with white text reading "C:\Users\Your Username."

2

Type "netstat" next to the prompt and press "Enter" to generate a list of all outgoing data transmissions. The Netstat command works best when you have as few applications opened as possible, preferably just one Internet browser. The Netstat generates a list of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that your computer is sending information to. Some of these IP address are legitimate and correspond to websites or services that you are using.

3

Document each IP address reported by Netstat and launch a Web browser. Enter each IP address into your browser's address bar and press "Enter" to attempt to locate where the information is being sent.

Locating Stealth Apps

1

Right-click your taskbar and select "Start Task Manager" to launch your task manager, a list of all running processes on your computer.

2

Close all programs except for one Web browser.

3

Select the "Processes" tab, then select "User Name" and browse through the list to view all processes running on your computer. Processes that do not include your username may be an indication of malicious software running on your computer.

4

Document the processes running and investigate their use online.

Tip

  • check If being monitored by your employer, the best preventative to monitoring is to not do anything worth being monitored. Keep personal email, communication and Web browsing confined to your home and wireless devices not connected to your company's network.

Warning

  • close Many employers monitor your activity using software on your computer, or filter all Internet traffic through a singular point within their network. Attempts to disable, remove or circumvent this may violate several rules of conduct and operation in your workplace.

About the Author

Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images