In an ideal world, we’d all be able to keep our computers secure from unauthorized access. That’s not the world we live in however. Roommates snoop, significant others get curious, and family members decide to check up on each other – without permission.
If you suspect this is occurring, you can monitor your computer to see how it is being used when you’re away. Let’s look at some tools that will do just that.
The easiest way to tell what someone is doing on your computer is to use a keylogger. As you likely already know, this is a piece of software that logs keystrokes, which can then be retrieved later. You will be able to obtain information about what keystrokes we activated, thus providing an activity history.
If you’d like to stick with free solutions, Revealer Keylogger is a good choice. This utility logs keystrokes accurately and also records the process in which the keystrokes were logged as well as the time. The software can also be hidden from the user. It’s basic, but it works. Note that anti-malware software may quarantine this tool upon download, so you’ll need to remove the quarantine before you can install it.
Want more features and options? Then you’re going to have to go paid. One of the better options is AllInOne Keylogger, which captures keystrokes like any other, but has advanced log filtering options and the ability to send logs to specified email addresses, FTP servers or networked computers automatically. In addition, this software can take screenshots and record sounds via microphone. You can use this option free for seven days, but it’s $69.95 afterwards.
Keylogging can pick up a lot of information, but sorting through it to make sense of web activity can be a pain. SurveliStar Activity Monitor provides a easier and more comprehensive way to track web activity.
Once activated, SurveliStar can pick up on a number of online activities including web browsing, file transfers, and emails. These are then logged for later review. The log are very detailed particularly where web browsing is concerned. Everything is picked up including web use through extensions, plugins, etc.
Surprisingly, this software is free. You only need to pay for enterprise use of the software, which starts at $69.95.
Let’s say that unauthorized computer use is just the beginning of your problems. What if you’re also concerned about what’s going on around your computer? A keylogger or activity monitor can’t help you there.
That’s where iSpy comes in. This free, open source software has the ability to automatically record video with your webcam while you’re away. It has motion tracking and scheduling features that allow you to record only when you need to, and it also has the ability to automatically upload recorded video to the web, including YouTube. That’s handy because it allows for remote storage of video immediately, keeping it safe from any attempt to delete it.
Heck, you can even access your webcam remotely via the Internet while it’s recording and catch your roommate eating ice cream in your bed red-handed.
The tools above provide a complete pack for monitoring your PC. You can find out what was typed, what websites were visited, what files were downloaded, and what emails were sent. You can even see what’s going on in front of your computer remotely via your webcam.
Still, there may be an element here that I’ve missed, or software that readers prefer. If you have some advice on how to monitor activity on your PC, be sure to post in the comments.