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IT bods. 16:37 - Apr 7 with 1041 viewsjeera

If you could offer a little advice please.

Someone I know is about to go through a messy separation with her husband.

Thing is he seems to know more than he should and as an IT fella himself it seems he's been dipping in and out of her laptop remotely.

Is this a case of once someone is in they can maintain a presence or can this be stopped?

Any advice gratefully received.


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IT bods. on 16:43 - Apr 7 with 987 viewsDanTheMan

Certainly possible, but it would be hard to know how to stop it without knowing what they were using.

Easiest thing to do (assuming you're on a PC) would be to remove it from whatever network it was on, backup any essential files and then reinstall Windows.

EDIT: Worth mentioning if they are doing this (accessing it remotely without permission) they are breaking the law. I imagine if they can prove this is happening in some way then it might help with the divorce. Just a thought.
[Post edited 7 Apr 16:46]

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IT bods. on 16:49 - Apr 7 with 961 viewsMookamoo

Use the old spy trick of adding some false information and seeing if it appears the other end. If he is snooping it can be flipped to her advantage.
[Post edited 7 Apr 16:59]
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IT bods. on 16:49 - Apr 7 with 958 viewsblue62

Thats a crap thing to do. He obviously still wants to know what she is up to.

Most extreme thing would be to bin the laptop, if he is that good at IT he will find ways to get in even if she changes passwords.
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IT bods. on 16:49 - Apr 7 with 960 viewsjeera

IT bods. on 16:43 - Apr 7 by DanTheMan

Certainly possible, but it would be hard to know how to stop it without knowing what they were using.

Easiest thing to do (assuming you're on a PC) would be to remove it from whatever network it was on, backup any essential files and then reinstall Windows.

EDIT: Worth mentioning if they are doing this (accessing it remotely without permission) they are breaking the law. I imagine if they can prove this is happening in some way then it might help with the divorce. Just a thought.
[Post edited 7 Apr 16:46]


He couldn't hide something in those files so he can reconnect afterwards?

Sorry I have to ask because I simply don't know.

Otherwise yes thanks, that makes sense.

So she could disconnect from the WiFi, put all she needs onto a stick and then reinstall Windows, but also then reconnect to the same network and hopefully with a stronger password he wouldn't be able to get back in?


Being the only WiFi she has access to as they're still in the same house for the immediate future. He had moved out but has moved himself back in and is taking over.


Edited for your edit Dan: I wondered about the legalities but without proof...

Also he would have had permission before things blew up because she's always trusted him in the past. We always find out more about people's real selves once things are over!
[Post edited 7 Apr 16:55]

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IT bods. on 16:52 - Apr 7 with 949 viewsjeera

IT bods. on 16:49 - Apr 7 by blue62

Thats a crap thing to do. He obviously still wants to know what she is up to.

Most extreme thing would be to bin the laptop, if he is that good at IT he will find ways to get in even if she changes passwords.


She has been keeping notes on his behaviour; intimidation etc, and of course he seems to know so yes, he has accessed her laptop.

But he would do that in the past with people he knew to help fix stuff as he does with his job.

But yes, a definite misuse of his professional skills.

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IT bods. on 16:56 - Apr 7 with 934 viewsDanTheMan

IT bods. on 16:49 - Apr 7 by jeera

He couldn't hide something in those files so he can reconnect afterwards?

Sorry I have to ask because I simply don't know.

Otherwise yes thanks, that makes sense.

So she could disconnect from the WiFi, put all she needs onto a stick and then reinstall Windows, but also then reconnect to the same network and hopefully with a stronger password he wouldn't be able to get back in?


Being the only WiFi she has access to as they're still in the same house for the immediate future. He had moved out but has moved himself back in and is taking over.


Edited for your edit Dan: I wondered about the legalities but without proof...

Also he would have had permission before things blew up because she's always trusted him in the past. We always find out more about people's real selves once things are over!
[Post edited 7 Apr 16:55]


No, Windows will usually want to format the drive during a reinstall so everything would be gone, including all programs.

But otherwise yes, making sure to format the drive in the process. She can always find a local tech store to help if they are not that comfortable doing it.

Probably a good idea to change any important passwords just in case the ex has logged any, especially if they are using a single password between multiple things.

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IT bods. on 16:57 - Apr 7 with 909 viewsjeera

IT bods. on 16:56 - Apr 7 by DanTheMan

No, Windows will usually want to format the drive during a reinstall so everything would be gone, including all programs.

But otherwise yes, making sure to format the drive in the process. She can always find a local tech store to help if they are not that comfortable doing it.

Probably a good idea to change any important passwords just in case the ex has logged any, especially if they are using a single password between multiple things.


Thanks again Dan.

Always appreciated.

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IT bods. on 16:57 - Apr 7 with 912 viewsDropCliffsNotBombs

IT bods. on 16:49 - Apr 7 by Mookamoo

Use the old spy trick of adding some false information and seeing if it appears the other end. If he is snooping it can be flipped to her advantage.
[Post edited 7 Apr 16:59]


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IT bods. on 21:32 - Apr 7 with 658 viewsDeano69

Sounds like it could be a remote access such as TeamViewer, AnyDesk etc.

Not sure how IT savvy the user may be but you could look through the installed apps.


The other possibility is if she uses a cloud based service for storing files etc. if he knows any of her passwords and these files/email are in the cloud he wouldn’t even need access to the laptop to view these.

Don’t like this sort of thing so happy to help if I can.

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IT bods. on 22:00 - Apr 7 with 616 viewsjeera

IT bods. on 21:32 - Apr 7 by Deano69

Sounds like it could be a remote access such as TeamViewer, AnyDesk etc.

Not sure how IT savvy the user may be but you could look through the installed apps.


The other possibility is if she uses a cloud based service for storing files etc. if he knows any of her passwords and these files/email are in the cloud he wouldn’t even need access to the laptop to view these.

Don’t like this sort of thing so happy to help if I can.


He works for a large organisation and is one of their tech guys.

All I know is he can/does sort problems remotely, the same as you and Dan are capable of with permission I'm sure, but it's not something I am over familiar with.

I do remember him offering to solve something for me once remotely and I felt awkward because it's not something I would want, someone being able to wander around my PC and sort of politely turned him down.*

He was angry last night saying things to her he shouldn't really know about.

All I want now is to be able for her to shut him out of there and stop him spying on her in that way. Especially with family court stuff looming in the future and him being able to see any correspondence with solicitors etc.

Thank you for replying, I am grateful to you and Dan and others. Very kind to offer.

It is a family member getting the grief but I obviously don't wish to go into that too much.

I will PM either/both of you if more transpires but if anything springs to mind feel free to let me know.


*There was once some nice man once ringing me at home from India offering to do the same from Microsoft Department.

He was very keen indeed.
[Post edited 7 Apr 22:01]

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IT bods. on 22:15 - Apr 7 with 592 viewsdavblue

IT bods. on 22:00 - Apr 7 by jeera

He works for a large organisation and is one of their tech guys.

All I know is he can/does sort problems remotely, the same as you and Dan are capable of with permission I'm sure, but it's not something I am over familiar with.

I do remember him offering to solve something for me once remotely and I felt awkward because it's not something I would want, someone being able to wander around my PC and sort of politely turned him down.*

He was angry last night saying things to her he shouldn't really know about.

All I want now is to be able for her to shut him out of there and stop him spying on her in that way. Especially with family court stuff looming in the future and him being able to see any correspondence with solicitors etc.

Thank you for replying, I am grateful to you and Dan and others. Very kind to offer.

It is a family member getting the grief but I obviously don't wish to go into that too much.

I will PM either/both of you if more transpires but if anything springs to mind feel free to let me know.


*There was once some nice man once ringing me at home from India offering to do the same from Microsoft Department.

He was very keen indeed.
[Post edited 7 Apr 22:01]


Another option is for her to buy another laptop.

An expense not required probably but would stop him being able to remote on if she keeps it locked with a strong password.
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IT bods. on 22:33 - Apr 7 with 546 viewsjeera

IT bods. on 22:15 - Apr 7 by davblue

Another option is for her to buy another laptop.

An expense not required probably but would stop him being able to remote on if she keeps it locked with a strong password.


Money's tight there buddy!

Already fears about paying for legal stuff and he's being a ****.

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IT bods. on 00:46 - Apr 8 with 474 viewsChurchman

IT bods. on 16:57 - Apr 7 by jeera

Thanks again Dan.

Always appreciated.


I’m nowhere near as expert as Dan, but what he’s suggested looks sound advice to me, Jeera. I hope your friend manages to sort it.
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IT bods. on 09:02 - Apr 8 with 330 viewsRozz

Hi Jeera, not a professional by any means but I have a passing interest in cyber security / hacking. A few radical solutions on here so I thought I'd add my 2 cents:

I'd start saying its far more likely a person in a position of trust would find out passwords over the years than installing covert software. People log in on spouces devices all the time. Most services will allow you to see and disconnect open sessions remotely. If I'm logged into FB on my mobile and it is stolen, I can log in on my laptop and end the session on "Rozz's Samsung" to protect my data. Worth seeing if this service is available wherever sensitive information was shared and screenshotting any dodgy sessions that aren't recognised in case they're helpful in proceedings. Sometimes this is called linked devices.

Change passwords to key accounts (her windows login, email, socials) to something completely new. This will log out all sessions on all devices until they enter the new PW. Don't write them down in the house, and use one of the many password managers to avoid having to memorise 20 different things.

Turn on 2 factor authentication on as many services as you can. Even with the correct password, someone trying to log in remotely to a new session would need a unique code either sent to her phone or (even better) an authenticator app. A text can be read while the phone is locked, the app normally requires you unlock the phone and navigate the app to a temporary code that refreshes periodically. As he's in the house sadly the former is quite possible.

If he is using remote access as you've suggested, you can either find the software and uninstall it, or remove permissions very simply via control panel. Google "stop remote access" for simple steps.

While remote access is a bit weird, most applications need the user to be powered up, logged in, and to share a code or unique ID with for temporary sessions. Although you can wake on LAN these days, you can't physically switch a computer on remotely. I appreciate its not a fix, but shutting down overnight or when not in use may provide some peace of mind.
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