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In process of separation with IT expert...he's tracking me


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#1 scrapperluv

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 02:56 AM

I am in a bind. My husband is a very advanced IT expert and I am trying to prepare to separate from him. He's an alcoholic and I need to keep my communications about this separation quiet or I'll suffer his tantrums if he gets wind of what's coming. He's been disinterested in my online communications until the last couple weeks. He noticed on my cell bill that I was calling his sister in England, and I'm pretty sure that prompted him to go into my online accounts that he could access to see what is going on. He's dead set on preventing me from telling his family about his condition.
 
 Here's my question...I'm pretty sure he's tracking my actions & messages somehow online. I have a PC, not any type of MAC, and I'm sadly so unsavvy when it comes to technology. I never did sign in or register for any type of an Icloud. My pc says I'm not signed into "onedrive". He's always had access to my pc and cell phone so I think he's somehow monitoring remotely???
 
I suspect he is able to view my Facebook messages. I sent photos of our kids to his nephew in England last week and chatted with him about planning an intervention for my husband. My husband immediately told me his nephew called him to ask him to get me to stop contacting the family in England. My husband tried to convince me they all hate me and that they don't want to hear from me. His sister called me later that day & told me it's all a lie and her son (the nephew) hadn't spoken with my husband in months. So somehow he is viewing my Facebook messages. 
 
I went online to Facebook to see if I'd forgotten to delete that conversation. It was deleted. My husband knew exactly what we'd talked about, but didn't believe I'd started the conversation by sending photos through FB. If my husband is spying on me through the cloud, would he not see the photos that were sent? Or is he using a keystroke monitor?
 
Also, he's told me he can track any photos of me online with some face recognition program he has available at work. He is the CIO of security and governance for a large company, so maybe he can? As you can see, I'm pretty much under his control. We moved away from home for a job opportunity for him a few years ago and I don't even have friends to talk to in person! Is there any way to prevent him from viewing my interactions online and on my cell? I don't know how to tell if my messages are going into a cloud or if there are programs installed on my pc for remote monitoring. I'm using Windows 10. 
 
Thanks so much!
 
 
 


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#2 Just_One_Question

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:33 AM

Everything will be alright soon enough, don't worry.:)

However, considering your husband's line of work and his technical expertise, I am afraid there isn't anything more you can do besides (in order of magnitude):

1.Buying a new computer
2.Reinstalling Windows 10 on your current PC
3.Installing and running Malwarebytes, Avast AntiVirus & a VPN. All these 3 things, the anti-malware, the anti-virus and the VPN, you ought to do even if you choose to keep your computer and not get a new one. BTW, both Avast AntiVirus and any VPN are free, but you would benefit greatly if you purchase the full versions, although that is not necessary
4.Changing your e-mail
5.Changing your e-mail's password
6.Changing your Facebook's password
7.Changing your cell phone number and not telling it to anyone that might give it to your soon to be ex-husband
8.Using Skype calls more, especially to England, as they are both encrypted and free
9.Using Tor as your main browser
0.Not being afraid to contact the authorities and a lawyer if sh*t hits the fan

I guess, that's what I can help you with at this point, considering your quagmire.

Good luck!:thumbup2:

Edited by Just_One_Question, 18 April 2017 - 06:44 AM.


#3 Just_One_Question

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:46 AM

Also, much like getting a new computer, you can get a new cheap phone with a new off-contract phone number - a burner phone, which you can use to make private calls of which your husband doesn't know about.
Once again, wish you all the best!:)

#4 Crazy Cat

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 04:10 PM

Unfortunately, suggestions 1 to 9 from Just_One_Question can be defeated if he has physical access to your PC.

You need, Tor Tails a live operating system that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card.

Download Tor Tails https://tails.boum.org/ and burn on DVD, or install on USB stick, or SD card.

Boot this Tails operating system, and not the Windows operating system.

Good Luck!
 

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. ― Albert Einstein ― Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.

 

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#5 downloaderfan

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:19 PM

While Tails OS does provide a high level of security, it is also read only which means any files you download or any changes you make to the OS will be lost after a reboot, not to mention switching operating systems is not the simplest of tasks for the non tech savvy. Sometimes, it's just infeasible even for the tech savvy.
 
Instead, I have 2 solutions. One in which you have windows 10 installed on your hard drive and the other in which you boot into windows 10 from a USB. The second method is more secure than the first method, because the first method requires you keep your PC locked (Win key + L) whenever you're not around, so that your husband can't access your files.
 
Method 1)
Reformat Windows 10 to remove any present keyloggers on your PC.
Tutorial - http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/reset-windows-10-pc  (Choose Just remove my files)
Encrypt Windows 10 with VeraCrypt, this will make your laptop ask for a password when you switch it On. As long as this password is not known by your husband, he won't be able to break into your computer, even if he has physical access. Obviously, this means you don't give him access to your laptop after you have entered your password & your logged in to windows. At Least, keep your PC locked whenever your not around.
Tutorial -
(Make at least a 15 character password including numbers, special symbols, upper & lower case)
Change passwords of all your necessary accounts. (He may know all of your passwords if he has a keylogger installed on your PC)
Use a VPN to encrypt all your network communications, so he won't be able to view what sites you've visited. There are free unlimited free VPNs like betternet and paid ones like private internet access. Free ones have some sort of tracking built in so that they can target advertisements so most tech savvy prefer paid ones, but I think that issue is least significant in your life right now, so choose whatever you want, go with betternet if you don't want to pay. (Note that using VPN will reduce your internet speed and free ones will reduce it more than paid ones)
 
Method 2)
You create a portable windows 10 installation on at least a 32 GB USB 3.0 using Rufus, you'll need the windows 10 ISO for this which you can download using the Media creation tool.
(Tutorial - )
By default, windows 10 will download all the basic drivers and allow you to connect the internet, if you want all the additional drivers, use DriverPack Solution. It automatically finds all drivers for your device & installs them.
Remaining steps are copied from above,
Change passwords of all your necessary accounts. (He may know all of your passwords if he has a keylogger installed on your PC)
Use a VPN to encrypt all your network communications, so he won't be able to view what sites you've visited. There are free unlimited free VPNs like betternet and paid ones like private internet access. Free ones have some sort of tracking built in so that they can target advertisements so most tech savvy prefer paid ones, but I think that issue is least significant in your life right now, so choose whatever you want, go with betternet if you don't want to pay. (Note that using VPN will reduce your internet speed and free ones will reduce it more than paid ones)
 
After this setup, whenever you want to use your laptop, you boot into the windows 10 installed on your USB and not on the windows 10 on your hard drive. As long as your husband doesn't access the USB, you'll be safe. Keep the USB with you at all times.  
 
Information about BIOS and USB boot - http://www.boot-disk.com/boot_priority.htm 
  
Note that none of this will help if your husband is using a hardware keylogger. Lookout and avoid things like these - https://www.keelog.com/
 
PS: The above might overwhelm you at first, but it's only a one time setup process, so don't give up at any point. After all, your husband is an IT expert, simple normal solutions might not be enough in this case.

Edited by downloaderfan, 21 April 2017 - 01:21 PM.


#6 Didier Stevens

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 05:52 AM

You need more than IT security advice.

If you haven't already done, look for a divorce lawyer and/or a support group for women preparing divorce.

 

What I would do regarding technology: buy a smartphone with mobile data subscription, never connect it to Wifi at home or any other Wifi under control of your man, and create new social media accounts.


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#7 robby501

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 03:07 PM

Just to add a comment re. Facebook, you should set up your security options in such a way so as you are contacted by phone/email when someone tries to log in from another browser. If you yourself try to log in to your FB account via another browser, you will be sent a text to your cellphone with a 6 digit security code you have to enter before accessing your own account. 


Im a rookie and purely recreational pc user. Im utterly obsessed with security (even though I consider myself a safe and law-abiding internet user!) and run a combo of the following freeware security suites.....

Windows Defender/firewall

Regular scans with Malwarebytes, AdwCleaner, JRT, HitmanPro

 

 

 


#8 Crazy Cat

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 03:22 PM

While Tails OS does provide a high level of security, it is also read only which means any files you download or any changes you make to the OS will be lost after a reboot, not to mention switching operating systems is not the simplest of tasks for the non tech savvy. Sometimes, it's just infeasible even for the tech savvy.


You should save anything you want to keep for later access into a separate device (other USB stick, other DVD or any device you would choose), or use the persistence feature.
https://tails.boum.org/doc/encryption_and_privacy/your_data_wont_be_saved_unless_explicitly_asked/index.en.html
https://tails.boum.org/doc/first_steps/persistence/index.en.html
 

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. ― Albert Einstein ― Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.

 

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#9 smax013

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 05:57 PM

Just to add a comment re. Facebook, you should set up your security options in such a way so as you are contacted by phone/email when someone tries to log in from another browser. If you yourself try to log in to your FB account via another browser, you will be sent a text to your cellphone with a 6 digit security code you have to enter before accessing your own account.


This can be true of many other Internet accounts besides Facebook. These days many sites offer two factor authentication (which is what you are describing).

And even if they don't offer two factor authentication, they might still offer alerts if someone logs into your account from an unknown/registered devices. I know that Facebook, Google, and Apple all offer this (as well as two factor authentication).




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