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Am I being watched on my own network?

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#1 PeteGibbons


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Posted 20 October 2009 - 03:47 PM


Note 1:(sorry for the long length, if you want just to answer my tech questions in the simplest and clearest way, just skip down to the numbered questions)
Note 2:(also, sorry if I'm being WAY too detailed or clear. I am new here posting though I've visited the site often and think the community is very helpful, so thanks in advance for that!)

I recently moved into a new apartment with a couple of roommates, both who are expert computer users. One of them graduated with a computer technology degree from his college. They're very nice guys and I enjoy living with them, however I am the "new guy" and they have known each other for much longer than they know me. I trust them quite well and, as their roommate, I have no fear that they are going to steal any of my possessions nor do I have even the slightest inclination that they are creepy or strange, etc, etc (and I find myself to be someone who can read people reasonably well).

That said, like using P2P software for illegal activities, oftentimes even the nicest of people might snoop around via "technology" or the 'net. People you would never imagine, for example, snooping around your room reading a journal or looking through an old photo album might still be tempted to watch and see what you do or what you type on the 'net. Therefore, while I do trust them in the "physical" realm, the virtual realm I just don't know about. It sounds silly for me to say "I don't trust them" because, at this point in time, I honestly don't think these guys are tracking what I'm doing online...but I don't know, so I have some questions and would like to know if there's any way I can help to conceal myself from their eyes if in the rarest case they are actually snooping. I hope you can also see that, honestly, I don't want to ask them "hey, are you all tracking me?" because not only is that rude and shows my untrustworthy attitude, but it might also hurt the friendship I have with them (however new it is).

1. I am currently on a WPA2 wireless network with a secure key connecting through to our router (I pay for the service just like them, we split utilities so I'm NOT at their will, legally (like a business can, legally track their employees)). I have no fear that anyone not logged into the router is watching what I do. Soon I will have a wired connection to the router.

2. I do NOT believe that any viruses have been installed on my computer(s). Any snooping that might be occurring will/would only be occurring via the information that is running THROUGH the router and out to our ISP servers. They are not looking around my hard drive or anything along those lines.

3. What sort of software or programs (or router info) might they be using to see what I'm doing? Obviously they can't see any https protocols that I am on, but can they see anything and everything I'm accessing via http or ftp? How much can they see? They can probably see the IP addresses and probably even domains of the websites/server's I'm visiting, yes? How might they be doing this? Can they physically see the inputs I'm sending to these websites? Can they see every URL and link I click? Can they see emails I'm typing (if they're not secure), or, for example, the very words I am writing in this forum post? Can they see or "catch" attachments that I send or receive in emails? Can they see what I've downloaded? How extensive can it get for regular http and un-secure email protocols? (again, if they are getting any of this stuff, it is NOT through a virus or keylogger, it all has to be THROUGH the router).

3a. Something strange I've noticed: if I do a traceroute on my network out to say, google.com, the first server the traceroute comes in contact with it CANNOT get information on. The second server, the ISP server with the long domain of letters and numbers, begins to give info, does this mean anything? If I cannot get info on my own router, does that mean these guys are up to something?

4. What can I do to ensure that they can NOT track what I type, what I visit, where I go online, who I IM or chat with, etc, etc? Are there any ways to stay anonymous on my own network? I am not an expert with proxies, web proxies, and open proxies, but these things seem like they're only good for keeping the WEBSITES I'M VISITING from knowing who/where they are getting visitors. I don't really care about the websites I'm visiting knowing that they have someone from CommSolutions ISP, IP address 123.123.123 located in Indianapolis, IN visiting their website. What I do care about is knowing if my own network is watching me. Are they're any ways that proxies (or some sort of similar security measure) can only allow our router, for example, to see that all I'm connecting to is the same IP address over and over (though it's really relaying me to what I want to see) and they can't "grab" any info within those websites that I'm sending/receiving?

Thanks so much in advance for the help! I'll be happy to provide more info if necessary! Thanks!

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#2 PeteGibbons

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 04:35 PM

Ok new update (it's funny the things you learn online AFTER posting a question)...

Using some type of SSH Tunneling protocol might be a good idea. It look like there is a lot of info on it and I might be able to set something like that up, but I have a question:

- If you're using SSH Tunneling (using OpenSSH or something similar) don't you need a SSH server to connect to? How do you set up one of those? Maybe Tor is one such SSH server that allows communications? Isn't that heavy on their servers? How can something like that be free?

- I host a offsite website. Could I install a SSH tunneling server there and connect to it?

Any more details would be greatly appreciated! This is all new territory for me...

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