How to Find Out If Your Computer Is Being Watched
By Melly Parker
Some people -- your boss, for example -- may have the right to access your computer and monitor how you use it. Others, like hackers, may take the right for themselves without you being aware of it. Pay attention to your computer and run the right scans to determine whether you're being monitored; if you are, you may need to take steps to correct the problem. An unknown individual monitoring your computer can be privy to anything from business conversations to financial information you've entered when making a purchase online.
Take note of any lags or sputters in your computer's performance. Some monitoring software takes screenshots and logs keystrokes, which can affect how well your computer runs. If you notice consistent problems, someone may be monitoring you.
Log on to the Netalyzer (see Resources). Click "Start Analysis." If something is blocking secure communications, it will let you know -- if it is, you may be being monitored.
Download an anti-spyware program and follow the prompts to install it. CounterSpy V2, SpyBot Search and Destory and Webroot Antivirus all offer spyware locating functionality.
Run the spyware program and perform a system scan. If the program finds any monitoring software or tracking devices, it will alert you and prompt you to remove or quarantine them.
Press "Ctrl-Shift-Escape" to start Task Manager. Look at the running programs and processes; if you see any that you don't recognize, look them up online to determine whether they're related to tracking or monitoring software. Websense Enterprise 5.1, Spectator Pro and ActivTrak are three products that can be used to track your computer usage.
Ask the person you suspect is monitoring your computer whether or not it is being watched. Explain that you have concerns about entering financial information on the computer.
- Employers are only required to tell employees they're being monitored in two states -- Delaware and Connecticut -- according to PCMag.
Melly Parker has been writing since 2007, focusing on health, business, technology and home improvement. She has also worked as a teacher and a bioassay laboratory technician. Parker now serves as a marketing specialist at one of the largest mobile app developers in the world. She holds a Master of Science in English.