How to Stop Others From Monitoring My Computer
By Ty Arthur
Although the prospect is frightening, it is possible for nosy landlords or ex-boyfriends to monitor what websites you visit and which programs you run on your home computer. Spyware programs known as "keyloggers" and remote access software can both be used to view everything you do on your computer and can even allow people to take over your system. If you want to stop other people from monitoring your computer, you can change a setting in your operating system and use anti-spyware programs to remove any keyloggers on your hard drive.
Access the "Start" menu and select "Control Panel." Click "System," and then click the "Remote Settings" link at the left side of the window.
Un-check the box labeled "Allow remote assistance connections to this computer." Click "Apply" and then close the window.
Navigate your web browser to a website that offers an anti-spyware utility such as Spybot Search and Destroy or Lavasoft AdAware (see "Resources," below). Download and install at least two different anti-spyware utility programs, as not all programs can locate all the different types of key logging software.
Restart your computer. Press the "F2" key repeatedly until a new menu appears. Highlight "Safe Mode" and press "Enter."
Open one of the anti-spyware programs you downloaded. Select the program's update feature and download the most recent detection information.
Click the "Search for Problems" option, or whichever button the program uses to scan your computer for spyware. Wait for the scan to run and then click "Remove Selected Problems."
Close the program and open a secondary anti-spyware utility. Update the program and run its scanning feature. Remove any spyware it detects, and then restart the computer to prevent anyone from monitoring your system.
- If the spyware utility did not find a key logger, you can remove it by formatting your computer's hard drive and reinstalling the operating system. Insert the recovery disk that came with your computer into the CD or DVD drive. Restart the computer and then follow the on-screen instructions. This is a last resort option, as it will completely delete everything from your hard drive.
- Some computer systems use a key other than "F2" to bring up the Safe Mode option. Try "F8" or "F10" if "F2" does not work. Check your computer's manual for more information if you can't access the menu. You may need to choose different settings to turn off the remote access feature if you are using an operating system other than Windows Vista. Check the support website for your operating system or your computer's manual for more information.
Ty Arthur has been writing technical and entertainment-related articles for a variety of online sources since 2008. His articles have appeared on Metalunderground.com and many other websites. Arthur attended the Great Falls College of Technology and studied both computer science and creative writing.