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Away from Peeping Eyes: Is Someone Spying Your Computer?

Prioritizing Cyber security and safety in an Era of Fraud.

We live in a curious era where cyber security and safety is a concern. Mind control is the order of the day, and everyone is trying to spy on the other for personal reasons. Stalkers have noticed that the easiest way to sneak up on someone is not to physically break into their home but to use man's best pal—Technology. The use of domestic spy software is a widespread habit today. Everybody wants to know everything about you— your boss, the government, your foes, your nosy buddies, or even worse, your spouse or fiancé. These days, one very common method is the use of 3rd party software, usually known as Virtual Network Computing (VNC) or remote control software. Through it, a stranger can snoop on every businessyou conducton your computer. However, one must stealthily install it on your computer in your absence. But nobody wants to be stalked either way. So it's time you cleared your cyber security and safety doubts if you feel like someone is invading your privacy.

Is someone Peeping on Your Comp? Find Out

Below are tips to help you know if someone is hiding creepy software on your computer and guidelines to get rid of them.

    1.Check for spy programs.

This is easier to do if you know the exact program you are looking for. Third-party programs are widespread, and some popular ones include LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, VNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC, and RealVNC. All of them allow the spy to view your desktop, run apps, alter settings, and gain access to your data like they are operating your computer. Normally, these programs are not produced as spy software but as tools for IT experts to control several computers under a single organization. If you suspect your computer is a victim of the above programs:

  • On your PC, go to 'All Programs'
  • Look for signs of any of software listed above
  • If you find one, you are being spied on
  • If you find none of the ones listed earlier but notice one or two that you are not familiar with, do an internet search about it to ensure total cyber security and safety.
  • While it may seem shoddy to install such software on someone's PC secretly, most moles assume that you are ignorant about this software and their dangers. And that if you inadvertently come across it, you wouldn't notice it. Another important thing to note is that once these programs are installed on your computer, they run with an icon on the taskbar. That's why you need to look for unidentified icons on your computer; someone may be getting nosy.

      2.Check for open ports.

    This does not require any technical skills. After successfully identifying and removing unwanted installed programs from your computer but still feel you are under watch, go ahead and check its ports. It's straightforward, even for novices. Ports are virtual data connections that enable computers to share data directly, so if someone is hiding spy programs on your system, they must leave a port open to facilitate data transfer. Here's how to check all ports:

  • Go to Start, Control Panel, then to Windows Firewall.
  • Click on 'Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall'
  • This will bring a list of programs with checkboxes
  • All that are checked are 'open' while the unchecked ones are closed
  • Scan the list for external programs labeled as "remote control" or "Virtual Network Computing.
  • If you identify any, simply uncheck the box to stop the sharing of data. Just like that.

      3.Block Outbound Connections.

    But come to think of it; if putting spies to a halt was simply locking your ports and doing away with malicious programs, there would be no more snooping going on. Sorry to say, cyber security and safety can get rather complex. Checking ports is a crucial step; however, in some instances, the "spyware" may have an outbound connection to a different server— meaning it's a one-way communication and data from your device is being transferred elsewhere. The Windows Operating system is designed to allow outbound connections meaning you are not protected. The spy software can record data and send your data to the mole's server. Even worse, you won't realize because it is sending through an outbound connection, which never shows on the list of ports mentioned above. However, outbound connections can be spotted at the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). TCP displays all connections from your PC to other computers. Spotting these connections is not as complex as it seems. Below is a simple guide:

  • Download a TCP View program that automatically lists all TCP connections.
  • On doing this, you'll notice a box with several columns.
  • On the left side, you'll find the names of the running programs.
  • You'll notice programs like Skype, Chrome or any browser you use
  • Check the 'State' and view the processes under 'Established' (which means there is an open connection) for Chrome or Skype.

  • Filter the list to identify and cut off process you don't know.
  • You can also check the 'Sent Packets' and 'Sent Bytes' columns in the TCP. This will help you identify right away identify the process sending nearly all data from your PC. If you are being monitored, the fraudster might be sending the info elsewhere, find out where? Your home or office computer stores your life secrets—virtually everything about you, and if someone has you under watch, then you risk losing a lot, even your life depending on why you are the center of attraction. The only way to stay safe is to check for malicious software regularly; if you find anything strange, don't hesitate to go online for thorough research. Also, protect your computer with passwords when at home with sneaky people who may want to snoop into your stuff. For advanced protection, consult an IT specialist, scan for any hidden spy software in your computer, and set up security measures.

    What are Some New Technologies & Tactics to Prevent Cyber Spying?

    Cyber security and safety is still a stumbling block in the online world. But tech experts have been struggling to keep fraudsters away. Below are some of the upcoming techniques and technologies you can use to prevent cyber spying.

      1.Next-Gen Breach Detection.

    With hackers still using "zero-day" to establish a footing and extract useful data from systems and networks for as long as they want, we need better ways to identify and track tricksters who have breached our walls and are already spying us. Over the past few years, hackers have been using custom-made software to attack systems. Instead of the old way of launching a battalion on your site, they will suspiciously analyze your system security then secretly send you the Trojan Horse. And with the large volume of data, the fast speed, and different varieties of info, most corporations don't even realize when their systems get breached. Instead of paying more attention to the first line of defense, the next-gen breach detection focuses more on how to deal with hackers once they are already inside your system. This situation involves the use of behavioral analytics and other tools to spot traces like breadcrumbs that fraudsters leave behind. A better remedy is to develop technologies that merge behavioral analytics and machine learning to sense breaches and track them back to their sources.

      2.Active Defense Measures.

    By now, you must be aware that cybercriminals can attempt a breach at any time, and there's the need to have an active security system. One that can help you "fight fire well-known with fire" by tracking or even attacking fraudsters. Active defenses are still a sticking point in cyber security and safety. The concept is pretty simple; you don't sit back and wait for a breach. Instead, you take proactive measures to put a stop to them. Examples of technologies and techniques for active defense include:

      3.Counterintelligence Gathering.

    It involves spying on hackers to get details about their software and techniques. It may be as trouble-free as reverse malware analysis, or it might be as hidden as covering your identity as you visit internet malware storefronts.

      4.Retaliatory Hacking.

    Often considered unlawful and the riskiest of steps to ensuring active security. Retaliatory Hacking—which is more or less hacking back, usually raise all kinds of ethical questions; Will you breach into guiltless third-party systems? Will your system hackers strike back tenfold to avenge your tracking attempts? Despite the many risks involved, hacking back is still gaining grip in some circles.

      5.Sinkholing.

    A sinkhole is a DNS server that hands out addresses that are non-routable for all domains within it. It is designed to imitate the real thing, and the intention here is to seize and block unwanted or malicious traffic for expert collection and analysis.

      6.Enhanced multi-factor authentication.

    We are looking forward to a remarkable press forward in multi-factor authentication. For instance, the use of one-time passwords for transactions must stop. In its place, we expect to witness the surfacing of new dynamic ways of consumer authenticating. The identity will push advanced technologies e.g., biometrics, to the next level. Fraud protection will advance to include metadata collection as well as analysis. For instance, more data such as; the type of info you are accessing, location, and whether the device you are using has been used before to carry out such transactions will be scrutinized.

      7.Light-weight and swifter Identity technology.

    Modern workspaces are improving user experience and how they interact with their devices and data. With the changes in the workspace, we expect a keen look into identity, and Millennials are the major driving force behind this hype. They are after very different outcomes and ask questions like, "how do we access our data now?" And "From where do we access our data?" However, this has not done much to change the fact that online users are still the most vulnerable group in the cyber security and safety chain. While there's a possibility identity may play a major role in solving end-point control setbacks, this has to be done in a modern way. Light-weight and swifter technologies that utilize intricate cryptographic algorithms are now replacing the traditional bulky identity engines that lasted years to install. This year we expect changes in identity security to go as far as geo-sensing and geo-location to power on-hand technologies like GPS that already form part of users' devices. Next-generation, however won't rely much on devices asdata will be stored principally in the cloud.

    The need for Security is speeding up digitalization.

    Till now, Fintech companies have been spearheading the move towards digital security. Though Cloud-born businesses are not generating as huge income as the former, they still need to safeguard all their transactions to avoid cyber spying. That justifies the need to push protection beyond the physical borders into a cloud environment. One major advantage this model has is that you don't have to wait a month or two to have your security equipment delivered. You simply need to 'turn it on' and begin installing it across numerous cloud platforms. The ability to provide and install security into cloud speedily is great news for financial institutions entering into acquisitions and mergers, or down-sizing/right-sizing their operations. It's a quick way to put an end to services in branches or rip open the capacity to establish temporary operations. With these advancements and expectations, we are looking forward to better protection and tracking of these hackers who compromise our activities online and steal from us. However, the only way to ensure unwavering security is to advance with day-to-day changes in the world of cyber security and safety. Be the first to know when a new technology emerges.

    Contributor: admin
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