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#4497980 - 08/25/17 05:47 PM Can someone trace your computer activities?
callbay Offline


Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 807
Loc: Ozark Mountains
I am wondering, is it is possible, without my knowledge, for someone to trace the sites I visit and/or the e-mails I mail on my personal computer without my knowledge?

Like maybe someone I know could put some software on my computer to trace my activities.

I do have Norton antivirus software in place.

I hope this does not cause anyone to loose sleep over what they have been looking at on their computer but it is a serious question I have.

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#4497985 - 08/25/17 05:52 PM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
bsmithwins Offline


Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 354
Loc: OR, USA
Yes, it's totally possible for someone to have any kind of logger on your laptop. If someone other than you has physical access and an admin password there really isn't any limit to what they can do with your computer.

OTOH, your ISP knows what sites you visit and what's in all your emails unless you take steps to prevent it.

BSW

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#4497988 - 08/25/17 05:55 PM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
callbay Offline


Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 807
Loc: Ozark Mountains
How can I prevent this from happening anymore? If it is now?

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#4497989 - 08/25/17 05:55 PM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
ArcticDriver Offline


Registered: 01/27/17
Posts: 1139
Loc: USA
What he said^^^^^^

You and your online activities can be watched and logged.

Heck, there is software that will hackers watch you on your laptop camera without your knowledge.

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#4497990 - 08/25/17 05:55 PM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2719
Loc: USA
The NSA has been doing it for some time to everyone, but nobody seems to care..

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#4498010 - 08/25/17 06:14 PM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
bsmithwins Offline


Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 354
Loc: OR, USA
Originally Posted By: callbay
How can I prevent this from happening anymore? If it is now?


It depends on your situation. If someone else has access to your computer and admin password there isn't anything you can do to be 100% sure that you've gotta everything. It's pretty easy for someone to install a keystroke logger that's darn well unfindable. If it's someone that's decent at computers, they can install a virtual machine* for you to use while they keep actual control of the computer. Even a full reformatting of the hard drive and reinstalling the OS won't help because the VM will just tell you it's doing all those things, but in reality the underlying computer stays in control.

The only way to be 100% sure about a compromised machine is to wipe the HDD and sell it. Use the money to buy a new computer that you keep sole access to.

As far as your ISP seeing every step you take and every move you make, get a decent VPN**. That will stop most people short of 3 letter agencies from seeing what you're up to.

BSW

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_machine
**https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_private_network

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#4498019 - 08/25/17 06:23 PM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13450
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: callbay
How can I prevent this from happening anymore? If it is now?


Disconnect your computer from the Internet, both physically and wirelessly. I'm being totally serious. This is known as "airgapping".
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

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#4498031 - 08/25/17 06:39 PM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
BobsArmory Online   content


Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 1307
Loc: Michigan
Google, facebook and Amazon do this all the time. Example: I was looking at oil drain pan plugs on Amazon this morning, now I have Gold Plug ads on Facebook. A couple months ago I was emailing a cousin back and forth about a certain product, yep google was looking into my emails and providing ads about that product.

A good Virtual Private Network like Nord VPN can help secure all wifi AND internet traffic. I run NORD VPN on my cell phone and my laptop. With a quality VPN your nosy teenage nerd next door and the criminal faking an open Starbucks or Hotel wifi system only sees an encrypted data stream.

Another must is a solid antivirus suite running along side the free version of Malwarebytes. I do a full antivirus scan and a Malwarebytes scan every Sunday

There are tonnes of anti keyloggers out there but I think many are suspect. buyer beware in my opinion.

You can also use an encrypted email server like ProtonMail.
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#4498035 - 08/25/17 06:42 PM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: callbay
How can I prevent this from happening anymore?If it is now?


Every time you go online, use a credit card, use a debit card, use a rewards card, the deep state is watching you and they know where you're at.

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#4498042 - 08/25/17 06:47 PM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: bsmithwins]
BobsArmory Online   content


Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 1307
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: bsmithwins
Originally Posted By: callbay
How can I prevent this from happening anymore? If it is now?



The only way to be 100% sure about a compromised machine is to wipe the HDD and sell it.


Like he said, keyloggers can be very tricky to find. Replacing the Hard Drive is the only sure way to know that you have a clean system.
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Keeping the forces of evil at bay
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2017 Chevy Equinox LT 2.4 Liter

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#4498059 - 08/25/17 07:07 PM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32371
Loc: ME
You can get a keylogger with a prebuilt system:

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/keylogger-found-in-audio-driver-of-hp-laptops/

If you're that paranoid get (ubuntu) linux, use a strong password, don't use social media on it, and consider a paid VPN from the Isle of Man or wherever is the hot "privacy country". Windows 10 purportedly has a keylogger. Use different search engines randomly so noone can build a complete picture of you.

That all said I also find the targeted ads creepy, especially if I look up a friend's disease then google thinks *I* have it.

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#4498137 - 08/25/17 08:38 PM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 24051
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Using email encryption helps, but it's always hard to get the person on the other side to cooperate.
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Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, NAPA Gold 7356
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#4498253 - 08/25/17 11:30 PM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
ndfergy Offline


Registered: 03/28/16
Posts: 412
Loc: burlington ,ontario, canada
Can you be traced? Yes. Are you targeted by criminals or the authority? Not likely on the former since you behind a good anti-virus and firewall, and presumably, on recommended OS settings . On the later, not likely either unless your targeting kiddies on FB or Google searching, "How to obtain plutonium".

Data mining is a different story. Pretty hard, if not impossible to stop. As far as software keyloggers: check for strange or duplicate processes in your programs and task manager.

Here's a good article on the whole subject. It's a little paranoid but informative nonetheless.

Online Privacy
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#4498309 - 08/26/17 01:56 AM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
Krieg Offline


Registered: 07/23/17
Posts: 43
Loc: USA
buy a second hand computer from an unknown. Use open wifi for internet. Dispose destroy laptop after usage. Avoid cameras, your MAC address will be captured if you use an open wifi.......
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#4498426 - 08/26/17 07:59 AM Re: Can someone trace your computer activities? [Re: callbay]
99Eclipse Offline


Registered: 07/17/17
Posts: 10
Loc: Columbia, Mo, USA
Only thing I found that worked was the web browser called Tor. I am a computer hardware tech and was stalked online by relatives and coworkers and was doing nothing wrong. I believe they had a connection with a person who worked in my isp, also extremely knowledgeable network employees. For example if I was viewing stuff on the internet that a 30 something single guy might look at my mother would call and ask what I was currently doing. And I was at home. How messed up is that. And there was plenty of gas lighting mental abuse to mess up my head, if you ever heard of it. Anyway, I used Tor, it is encrypted as soon as it leaves your computer. I also used bitlocker to make sure no one would be able to come in to my house and do whatever they like. I reinstalled my operating system many times and that doesn't work in extreme cases like mine where your attackers break the law blatantly and don't care. They could also see who I called on my home phone. Stalked me with the gps on my cell until I got one without gps. So yeah the two things that I know of is Tor and to just keep off the internet, and maybe bitlocker. So I am saying if you have people messed up in the head enough and enough people connections they can make your life heck no matter what.

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