What would you do if your SO installed spyware on your computer?

In this thread, astro mentions a friend that he was helping out with some hardware problems and it turns out that the friend of his installed spyware on a computer that she and her husband use jointly. The spyware is specifically designed to record activity on the PC such as instant message logs, chat logs, email, websites visited, etc.

Some of the responses are getting a little heated, and I started to get curious. If any of you share a computer with your SO, what would your reaction be if you discovered that he/she had installed this sort of tracking software? Would you be angry even if you had nothing to hide?

Let’s keep this civil, I’m interested in people’s perspectives as opposed to the rants taking place in The Pit. :slight_smile:

I’d congratulate her. My wife is very computer illiterate. If she went ahead and educated herself as to what spyware was and went ahead and installed it on her own, I’d be very happy.

(Yeah, I know it’s not the answer you were looking for… :stuck_out_tongue: )
Zev Steinhardt

But zev, if she gets all computer literate, she might find out about all those sneaky things you do online, like tease hapless OPs in your spare time. :smiley:

Should this be treated any different than say, if the SO tapped your phone? Depends on the relationship, but I’d say this would be a dealbreaker on most cases, for me.

I’d be upset that she felt that she couldn’t trust me. I’d then explain to her that if you can’t trust me, I won’t be able to deal with this relationship. Then I’d give her a while to think about it while I go skiing.

If I was having an affair, I would assume that she had figured it out and just come clean. Although I’d be angry at the spying, any self-righteous speeches about respect are going to sound awfully foolish when the truth inevitably comes out.

If it was baseless spying, I would be shocked and angry. I can’t even imagine my wife spying or snooping like that, so I would first just want to find out why she was doing it. In any previous relationship, spying would have been a dealbreaker.

Part of me likes the answers given by Giraffe, mayberrydan and Revtim. On the other hand, part of me would be surfing every porn site and writing salacious emails to random addresses confirming every suspicion, because sometimes I’m just not a very diplomatic – or nice – person.

Okay, I’d do the sensible thing. Discuss lack of trust. Work out whatever the perceived problem is. Act like an adult.

The ultimate deal breaker.

Imho, spying on someone else indicates a deep insecurity on the part of the person doing the spying. I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with a person that is so obsessed and disrespectful.

Hmmm, I dunno if it would be an actual dealbreaker, in my case. It would be definitely be very upsetting and would certainly indicate that my husband had some serious trust issues.
I think I’d try to find out what gave him the idea that I couldn’t be trusted in the first place. He’s not the suspicious type, and we have a pretty good relationship, so I’d assume that something had triggered it. I guess I’d then try to work it out from there.

If he turned out to have just put the spyware on there in hopes of catching me at something, I’d be really pissed. Maybe not to the point of a dealbreaker, but I’d probably think he needed to get help for his paranoia, at the very least.

It seems such an unlikely scenario, I’ve never given it any thought until now. But you do hear about it happening, so I suppose anything’s possible.

OK, I admit it…although all of the responsible and introspective responses are the reasonable and rationale thing to do, I have to say that Crusoe’s idea has some appeal. If I knew for sure that an SO was spying on my computer, the temptation to really give them an eyeful would be almost overwhelming.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, as the case may be), I’m lacking an SO, so this question is moot. :smiley:

I like this idea very much. I see no reason why you can’t do this for a week or two, then have a chat with the SO. :smiley:

Although in my case, the porn sites wouldn’t make a difference. The wife and I were bored this weekend, and played “porn or not porn?” (Pick a random URL and guess if it’s porn or not. e.g. dogdish.com or salad.com. Bonus points if you find a non-porn with a really dirty name (bendover.com) or a porn site with a really innocuous name.) Well, we got bored with that and just started wandering through the filthiest porn sites we could find. Several times we both ended up shrieking, eyes averted, trying to close the window without looking at it. (Hint: never, ever go to shit.com.)

After that, nothing I could look at would shock her. We’ve seen it all. shudder

Well, I did install spyware, and was quickly rewarded (sarcasm intended) by proof of infidelity. I just had to know if I was crazy and paranoid or if SO was really cheating.
The thing is, once I bought it and installed it (BTW, it cost about $25 and installed itself over the internet, I didn’t have to do much or have much computer literacy) I realized that no matter what I found, I had become a miserable, distrusting person, and THAT should have been the clue that something was wrong, since I have never ever been like that in any other relationship.

It’s cheaper than hiring a private investigator, especially if there is nothing going on.

“We followed him 24/7 and saw nothing. That’ll be $3,000 please.”

By the way, if she put it on my machine I’d be really mad. I’d be suspicious of her from then on.

Assuming I were in a relationship (that’s laughable to begin with) if that were to happen, it would go from SO to XO.

If you don’t have the trust, then what else is there?

that sounds amazeingly fishy… if you could install programs to arbitary computers over the internet secretly… no computer system in the world would be safe…

I gotta say… something very fishy happened there… either they did NOT install anything and just took your money and made stuff up… or they did something very illegal (there is no way to arbitarily ‘hack’ a computer, there needs to be some flaw you exploit, and no flaw is univeral to all computers)

I call shananigans on this statement… either it didn’t happen like you say… or someone just took your money and made something up…

"Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You

**owlofcreamcheese[/]b, the way I understood Violin D’Ingrate’s statement is that he didn’t hack anyone’s PC, he purchased, downloaded and installed a software program online onto a PC s/he and his/her SO shared. In other words, the software wasn’t installed over the internet onto a remote PC…it was installed onto his/her own PC.

First of all, if I was completely innocent of cheating, I’d really do what Crusoe only joked about. I’d go completely over the top, visitng porn sites with women screwing horses, writing e-mails with graphic detail about how I wanted to eat my own shit, etc. Then I might confront her. If she hadn’t moved out already. :smiley:

But realistically, if I was going to cheat, I wouldn’t do something stupid like send and receive messages over a shared computer. Hell, I’m so paranoid I keep the machine I use now locked down with a password any time I’m away from it.

Speaking about this as a dispassionate third party, I don’t have much sympathy for somebody who IS cheating, and gets caught by this method. (Or any other method) If you’re going to be a wesel, be a smart weasel. Or get a divorce first.

Foo. Not only did I screw up that coding, but I was trying to be gender neutral but I’m apparently half brain dead…and upon a quick history search, it appears that Violin is female anyway. Sorry! :slight_smile: