Because of our dependency on information technology and having to deal with the periodic functional problems of our computers and related gadgets, we are often forced to interface with various groups of professionals in order to resolve any technical problems that these devices may pose to us, from time to time.
Among that grouping of professionals, we would mostly engage the services of an I.T technician, a systems analyst, or an internet service technician; since the average domestic and small business IT issues may generally require the services of either class of I.T professional to fix it.
But even though they are usually perceived as the good guys, we generally do not realize the silent risks that we often take with either of these information technology professionals.
Your I.T Technician
Generally, if your computer starts acting up, the first person you would call is your I.T technician, who is sometimes referred to as a PC technician.
An I.T technician generally checks a computer for both hardware and software issues.
This means that you would have to give them access to a device that is holding your private files, your private communication blueprints, and other invaluable data, in addition to your internet usage blueprint.
And that device is your computer’s Hard Drive, which serves as the most critical component for data storage on a PC.
And while you may be able to delete a file from the hard drive, rest assure that it is still there waiting to be recovered with the right tools.
Ironically, as part of their job, IT technicians generally have to be in possession of these very software tools to aid in file recovery if necessary.
Now, as a general rule, all IT technicians caries a flash drive with strong cloning capabilities in case they would have had a genuine need to backup or recover your files before reloading your computer.
Can you imagine what would happen if that I.T technician plugs in his USB flash drive (without your approval), punch a few keys and clone your entire Hard Drive?
That would mean the unlawful capture of your entire web profile, your saved passwords, your credit card information, all of your files, your images, and every piece of data that is recoverable on your hard drive.
By extension, your IT technician would have been in possession of a cloned version of your entire computer; all in the palm of his hands.
In the end, there are so many sinister things that he can subsequently do with your private information.
And while only a small fraction of I.T professionals may have the skills and willingness to unlawfully clone their clients entire Hard Drive, this is still an example of the unrealized risks that we often takes with our I.T technicians.
Your PC systems analyst
A systems analyst is in essence an IT technician, but with more professional focus on the software, administrative, and engineering aspects of computer networks, generally at a corporate level.
His job usually entails evaluating your PC’s performance, your business computing requirements, updating your software, removing threats, and ensuring that your computer hardware and software systems are conducive to your usage requirements.
Everyday, people uses systems analysts or individuals with similar technical backgrounds to service their computers, reload their operating system, update existing software, set up their communication network, and install new software.
But with the prevalence of so many key logging software and Trojans in existence, it would take no more than a minute for a systems analyst to embed a keylogger or Trojan within your network to remotely harvest every single data that you entered into your PC database, without you or your anti-virus ever discovering it.
From your credit cards to emails, to passwords, instant messages, chats, web cam, and other keyboard based communications; your Trojan spy will not be short of any information that you have floating around on your system.
While software or bugs of this nature can be secretly installed by a spying spouse, it is nonetheless often installed by technical persons such as your systems analyst.
The internet service technician
After several weeks of happy internet browsing, you suddenly realize that you are experience issues with your internet access. As such, you would instinctively call in the technical guy from your Internet Service Provider.
Generally, internet service technicians often interfaces with clients in the field every day, and can develop a personal interest in selected clients or the client’s internet activities.
Naturally, as a part of their work, internet service technicians (also known as ISP technicians, or broadband technicians) would usually be granted company access to their client’s internet communications log file and to a lesser extent; their computer.
While they can take the same steps as a systems analyst to spy on someone, ISP technicians would usually employ more technical and remote tactics.
In actuality, a professional in this field can utilize various remote or data interception tools to filter your internet traffic, decrypt it, and thus having statistical insights into your private internet activities or web communication activities, without you ever having any idea that they are doing that.
Having direct knowledge of your computer’s MAC address and IP address can also make it easier for them to remotely attack your computer and secretly install keyloggers or Trojans, thus allowing them to have simplified access to the private files, web cam and other information on your PC.
What you can do
While the activities mention above are generally fractional in their occurrences via the actions of I.T service professionals, no one would want to leave their computer security at risk.
As such, they would have preferred to employ mechanisms aimed at preventing an IT professional from intruding on their private life and information.
That being the case, you may want to try installing a firewall such as Zone Alarm, or Commodo, and personally set the communications filter for each approved program on your network or PC, so as to ensure that keyloggers or Trojans cannot communicate back with their bosses, elsewhere.
And without back and forth communication, the keyloggers or Trojans would naturally remain dormant or become useless to the person who would have installed them on your PC.
You can then use a program such as Kaspersky, Keylogger Detector or Bitdefender to locate and safely remove the Keyloggers or Trojans from your PC (or at least a greater percentage of it).