The other day my friend was complaining about the IT guys in her hubby’s office. She was peeved at the fact that one of the emails that she sent to her husband’s work mail id never reached him at all. She had a copy of the email in her sent folder but no part of that email reached her husband. She was sure that the crazy guys in the IT department had been monitoring her husband’s mail id and deleted the mail even before it could reach him.
Remote PC Viewing is Possible
Monitoring emails and computers of employees and staff is a routine stuff in all the companies. But imagine if someone could use the same technique as your office IT admin and monitor your computer remotely. Sounds scary, right? Well, I do not want to make you panic, but it is possible to remotely view, monitor and even manipulate anyone’s computer. The only thing you need is a good software that is equipped to do this dirty work. These are 3rd party softwares and the technical name for them is either remote control software or virtual network computing (VNC) software.
What is Your Windows Operating System?
If you are using either Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista, then you have some good news and some bad news. Okay, I know you want to hear the good news first. Both these operating systems will help in blocking off all attempts at using the remote desktop viewing feature that is available in Windows by default. Even if somebody did attempt at using this feature to view your computer screen, it would intimate you about the details of the spy and your screen would get locked.
So what is the bad news? Well, you can still be spied on in spite of this protective mechanism. There is a way to hack into this defense as well. But that is not so commonly done and should not worry you much. The actual bad news is that a 3rd party software installed onto your PC can till serve the purpose of making your desktop totally vulnerable to remote viewing.
Can You Detect If Someone is Spying on Your Computer?
Well, the answer to this depends upon many factors like your tech knowledge, the expertise of the spy, your PC setting etc. But for starters let us just consider that your little tech expertise is nothing to boast about. There are some simple ways to detect if there is a remote control software installed on your PC. Let us discuss some of them here today.
Check Your Computer Closely
Go through the entire list of programs in the Start Menu and look out for anything suspicious. The usual culprits are named something like XVNC or VNCX, where X could be any brand name. Some other popular softwares are Logmein, GotomyPC etc. Whatever the name you find in your Start Menu, just be sure to check and double check for any suspicious activity.
In case you are not so sure about the program and want to confirm if it is something that your computer is using and not dangerous, simply conduct a Google search about the program. The results should be more than adequate in knowing what exactly this program does and if it is installed by someone on your PC for remote viewing.
Do not forget to check your toolbar as well for both the displayed and hidden program list. In case you find anything suspicious, use the search engine results to quell your doubts.
Check Your Firewall Settings
The person who has managed to install the 3rd party software onto your PC will definitely not be a noob and he / she probably is an expert at such dirty tricks. That is why it may not always possible to get any hints of the software by checking the Start Menu / toolbar.
This is when you should check your Firewall settings. Select the Exceptions option and then thoroughly check the list of sites that have exceptions. Exceptions mean that you firewall is not blocking these sites. This list should contain only those sites that you have personally authorized. If you find anything suspicious here, simply uncheck it. Doing this will encourage the Firewall to block the suspicious site from accessing your PC via the communication port.
Keeping your PC safe from unnecessary attention and sneaky intruders is a necessity. Most of the average PC users are not even aware of things like remote viewing of other computers. In this age of high tech hackers and scamsters on the web, it pays to be updated about such dangers. Only if you realize the danger, will you be in a position to choose some effective action against it. I hope this post has done its bit in updating you about the danger of remote viewing.