Opinions needed please!  monitoring program that is best at being undetected

Posted on 2004-11-16
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
expert opinion needed!  i am going to buy a monitering program but want opinions on which program is best at being undetected by those being monitored!  i have a computer smart teenager as well as a computer smart spouse -- and i am not computer smart at all.  though i am becoming a bit more knowledgeable from utilizing experts exchange.  i know that my partner has recently downloaded (and maybe always has done so) a free trial of spybot.  i am pretty sure that he has never actually spent any money on a spy program though -- just free downloads.  i am going to buy one for sure, so i would appreciate any opinion on what anyone thinks does the best job of HIDING itself from the users on my computer.  i have looked at spector pro and pc activity monitor so far, everyone promises to be "stealth and undetectable", anyone have an opinion?  or another suggestion?  i am looking to catch my teenage son or my spouse doing improper activity.
Question by:lordsofacid
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    Depending on how savy they are and what operating system they run, no program is going to be undetectable.  There are a number of tools and utilites, some included with Windows, some available free on the internet, that can show the programs exist and are running.  In my opinion, the only way you can truly do this "undetectably" is by using a packet sniffer and scanning all incoming data for what they are doing.  And of course, you'll have to know how to read that information as well.  AND you'll have to have another computer running through a hub (not a switch) so that you can capture all the broadcast data.

    Even if they are not "THAT" savvy, if they run programs like HijackThis or SilentRunners, they can see all programs your system is starting up.  (Both of those are free and used often enough by "amateurs" to ensure their computers are free of spyware/adware)
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Ummm...this is your family?

    Author Comment

    ummm...this would be my family and they would be the ones who use the computer i bought for my work at home.  i am curious as to how this question pertains to the computer question.  i didn't purchase a subscription to experts exchange in order to engage in therapy or to receive judgemental responses from faceless and substanceless cyber personalities.  but please, if knowing that this is my family will aid you in figuring out the answer to my question, utilize this info to harvest the knowledge seeded deep in your brain.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Have a good life.


    Expert Comment

    You could possibly see the websites that are being visited without installing any software;
    As Locard Exchange Principle states
    ".. one does not leave a crime scene without taking something away and leaving something behind"

    From looking at what is left behind, one can discover where the computer has been surfing.

    1) you could simply look at the cookies that are left on the pc from the websites that are visited (if they are not being erased). These usually have the name of the website in the cookie name
    (location is normally C:\Documents and Settings\username\cookies)
    (also viewable through the browser (Tools->Internet Options->Temp Internet Files->View objects)
    **********Set the History storage time here also so the history is available******
    2) you could view the cached web pages that are stored on the pc from the websites that are visited
    (also viewable through the browser (Tools->Internet Options->Temp Internet Files->View Files)

    3) you could view the history of the web browser.(if it is not erased)
    (click the sundial on the browser or in File Manager go to c:\Documents and Settings\username\local settings\temporary internet files)

    The above methods do not require you to install any extra software; hence they would not be detected by any software.

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