Monday, November 1, 2010
PC Repair Hong Kong - How to detect computer monitoring or spying software?
As an IT Pro, I routinely monitor employee’s computers and emails. It’s essential in a work environment for administrative purposes as well as for security. Monitoring email, for example, allows you to block attachments that could contain a virus or spyware. The only time I have to connect to a user’s computer and do work on directly their computer is to fix a problem.
However, if you feel that you are being monitored when you shouldn’t be, there are a few little tricks from Computer repair Hong Kong you can use to determine if you’re right. First off, to monitor someone’s computer means that they someone can watch everything that you are doing on your computer in real time. Blocking porn sites, removing attachments or blocking spam before it gets to your Inbox, etc is not really monitoring, it’s more like filtering.
So now, if you still think someone is spying on you, here’s PC Repair Hong Kong tells you what you can do! The good thing right now is that neither Windows XP SP2 nor Windows Vista support multiple concurrent connections while someone is logged into the console (there is a hack for this, but I would not worry about). What this means is that if you’re logged into your XP or Vista computer (like you are now if you’re reading this), and someone were to connect to it using the BUILT-IN REMOTE DESKTOP feature of Windows, your screen would become locked and it would tell tell you who is connected.
So why is that useful? It’s useful because it means that in order for someone to connect to YOUR session without you noticing or your screen being taken over, they have use third-party software and it’s a lot easier to detect third-party software than a normal process in Windows.
So now we’re looking for third-party software, which is usually referred to as remote control software or virtual network computing (VNC) software. First, the easy thing to do is to simply check in your Start Menu All Programs and check whether or not something like VNC, RealVNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC, LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, etc is installed. A lot of times IT people are sloppy and figure that a normal user won’t know what a piece of software is and will simply ignore it. If any of those programs are installed, then someone can connect to your computer without you knowing it as long as the program is running in the background as a Windows service.
That brings us to the second point. Usually, if one of the above listed programs are installed, there will be an icon for it in the task bar because it needs to be constantly running to work.
Check all of your icons (even the hidden ones) and see what is running. If you find something you’ve not heard of, do a quick Google search to see what pops up. It’s usually quite hard to remove something from the taskbar, so if there is something installed to monitor your computer, it should be there. You can contact Fix Computer Hong Kong for further assistance.
However, if someone really sneaky installed it and nothing shows up there, you can try another way. Again, because these are third-party apps, they have to connect to or Vista on different communication ports. Ports are simply a virtual data connection by which computers share information directly. As you may already know, XP and Vista come with a built-in Firewall that blocks many of the incoming ports for security reasons. If you’re not running an FTP site, why should your port 23 be open, right?
So in order for these third-party apps to connect to your computer, they must come through a port, which has to be open on your computer. You can check all the open ports by going to Start, Control Panel, and Windows Firewall.
Click on the Exceptions tab and you’ll see see a list of programs with check boxes next to them. The ones that are checked are “open” and the unchecked or unlisted ones are “closed”. Go through the list and see if there is a program you’re not familiar with or that matches VNC, remote control, etc. If so, you can block the program by un-checking the box for it!
The only other way I can think of to see if someone is connected to your computer is to see if there are any processes running under a different name! If you go to the Windows Task Manager (press Cntr + Shift + Esc together) and go to theProcesses tab, you’ll see a column titled User Name.
Scroll through all the processes and you should only see your user name, Local Service, Network Service, and System. Anything else means someone is logged into the computer!
For any assistance on removal of spying software contact Computer Repair Hong Kong.