All it takes to plug the holes are a little common sense, some knowledge and time. If you’re lucky enough to not share a computer with your spouse or significant other then it’s a little bit easier. If you do happen to share a computer then it’s a bit harder but by no means impossible. I’ll start with the most obvious things and move on to the not-so-obvious. This is by no means a complete list so if you have any ways to protect yourself we haven’t mentioned here then by all means, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re on a shared pc your first line of defense is to separate the user accounts. This is easy to do, but note that you must have a computer administrator account on the computer and be logged in as an administrator to add a new user to the computer. Password protecting the user account once you make the new account it is ideal.
To Create a New User Account in Windows XP
To Create a New User Account in Windows 7
Creating a new user in Mac OS X
Ok now you’ve made your separate user account but (if you haven’t set a password) anyone can still log onto your account and snoop. So just like we did for the cell phone we need to get rid of everything and anything that could incriminate you. And there are many. Let’s go through some of them.
Pictures and video.
If you’ve been crazy enough to save any pictures or video to your hard drive (and I hope to GOD that you haven’t) now is the time to get rid of them. One guy I know keeps photos and video of his affair on a flash drive and carries it around with him but even that is risky. Leave it in the wrong place or forget it one day and that’s all she wrote. I understand the thrill of looking at the pics or videos now and again but it’s not worth the risk. Still, if you simply MUST have your memories there are plenty of free online services, such as www.picasa.com and www.flickr.com where you can store them. Most of these services offer gigabytes of free storage and can be set up quickly and anonymously.
When I help my friends set up email I proceed as if the old email address is compromised so I recommend ditching it altogether. If it’s one of those addresses you’ve had for years and Gammy and Pepaw and the rest of the family know and you couldn’t possibly delete it then for God’s sake don’t use it to correspond with your affair. If you can ditch it then do so ASAP and get another. There are a ton of providers you can choose from.
We’ve all heard the horror stories about people getting caught from the web browser’s cache or history. By now you should know to clear your browser’s history every time you use it but it’s one of those things that’s easy to forget to do. Nowadays you don’t have to remember to do it. Most (if not all) browsers have the ability to clear history, cache etc. once you close it. It’s very simple to do in any browser and gives you peace of mind. Another good trick is to use another browser altogether to do your online dirt. So, if you use normally use Internet Explorer then use Firefox or Chrome or Safari to do your dirt. Or better yet use one of the many lesser known browsers. Here’s a pretty good list.
Instant messengers are fun and easy to use to exchange a quick message or have a sexy chat but beware, if you’re not careful they may contain hidden dangers. Some messaging applications, such as Yahoo messenger, save your conversations to a log by default. Make sure to check your settings to disable those features that might give you away. I’d advise against using one, it’s just another way you can get caught but if you just can’t do without IM’s then don’t install any messaging software on your hard drive, instead use the web based versions. Yahoo and Gmail are good ones. Still, Instant Messengers aren’t without risks as there are tons of programs out there that can monitor, save and send your IM conversations to another party without you ever knowing. Again, my advice is to use them sparingly, if ever.
If you’re smart you’ll be ever vigilant for keyloggers. Keyloggers are devices or programs that capture and record every stroke of your keyboard. They can be deployed via software or alternatively, via a device plugged inline between a computer keyboard and a computer. They log all keyboard activity to their internal memory and can be installed on your computer without you ever knowing. The disadvantages of a hardware keylogger are that it’s a physical thing and can be detected with the eye and removed. Also, the party doing the logging needs to physically install then remove the device to access the data. Be vigilant. Check your computer’s connections for anything out of the ordinary. A hardware keylogger looks innocuous and can easily be overlooked. A Google search for hardware keyloggers will show you what to look for.
Software keyloggers are more stealthy and much harder to detect. The good ones are completely undetectable and there are some which may be installed remotely. Fortunately there are solutions, a Google search for anti-keyloggers with give you plenty of options or you can visit I Hate Keyloggers for free downloads and tons of advice on how to protect yourself.
I’ve only gone into a few ways which you can be compromised, it’s by no means a complete list and to be honest most of it is common sense but I hope I’ve given you some food for thought. Be vigilant!
The next time we’ll delve into the most important technology of all, your mind. It might seem easy to find and maintain your affair but there is a mental toll and you need to be prepared.
Until next time party people, you know what we say, if you can’t be faithful, be careful.