Sep 07, 2013

How can I tell if someone has been using my laptop?

How can I check to see if someone has been using my laptop when I’ve left it unattended? It’s running Windows 7, if that helps. Thanks.

It's not a good idea to leave your laptop unattended. You should also consider using a login password for it as well, preferably a strong one. Nobody should be using your laptop without your permission and a login/screensaver password would help prevent them from doing so in your absence.

The easiest way is to simply go to Windows Start and select Recent Items. Unless the person thought to erase recent items, you should be able to see if anyone was poking around. You can also check the recent activity on any of your browsers to see if websites that you have not accessed are in there. 


A more certain way is to check Windows Logs. Go to Control Panel>Admin Tool>Computer Management, then click on “Windows Logs” on the left side of the window. Choose the Security log and you can see a log of all log-on, log-off events (among other things), and you can check for activity during those times you are certain that you were not on the machine.   


Install a trap on the keyboard that will close the lid of the laptop if it doesn't recognize you. If you come back and find the keyboard littered with severed fingers, someone has been using your laptop.

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