From time to time (about every six months) I will, quite by accident, show off my knowledge in computer technology. I say by accident because I have a “No, I will not fix your computer.” Tshirt for a reason. I find that anytime I do, if it’s not exactly what they wanted, they hold it against me. I tell them that fixing things right requires new parts, money and time and I can only look at it for an hour or so, but that part never seems to sink in. That’s why I try hard not to offer my services beyond showing how to clear out internet cash and cookies.

But sometimes I show off my big throbbing brain and I get a hushed question from someone in the office. That happened to me today.

“psst… come here I have a question” they said.

so I put on my best half smile and come over, I already know what it is. ”how do I hack into the email of my significant other.”

“how do I hack into the email of my boy friend?” she asks.

Evidently, holding back what I can do with a computer equals that I’m a L33T HAXXOR. I can tell them I’m not a L33T HAXXOR, but since they don’t know what that is, I usually let it slide. Being in the customer service racket, I am familiar with social engineering and the basic theory’s of gaining unauthorized access to machines. I have to know what they are to stop them from happening right? So I go ahead and tell her what I know.

“You have two choices, install monitoring software on the machine, or add a device to the back of the computer to capture keystrokes. Either way, you have to physically be in the room. you don’t have the tools needed to do it remotely.”

The laymen always thinks that hacking is something you can do with a few clicks of a mouse, but what they never realize is that someone will send out literally a million emails to get maybe 100 responses, of those 100 he gets maybe 25 new fish to exploit. No one ever hits a person directly unless they know them on a personal level, and if your fish was that stupid you wouldn’t be asking me how to get his email. It takes old school private eye techniques to get what you want. time. money. and sneakery… yes I think sneakery is a word.

“oh, but he lives with me, I can get access to his computer.” she says

“so this isn’t an ex?” I ask her

“no.. at least not yet.” she replies

“have you… tried telling him your concerns?” I ask

“yes but it doesn’t work” she tells me in a way that says she yells at him, but doesn’t really talk to him. I’m sure that if she finds he is innocent of whatever crime, things will be just fine, oh yea.

“breaking into his machine is not going to make things any better, but go to this site, buy this product, and stick it to the back of the machine, you’ll get his password for sure” I advice

“but I don’t want to order it on-line, isn’t there a place in town that has it?” she asks. So I open google, and bring up every spy store in town.

“these will have it” I tell her.

“do you know how to get there?” she asks. Now I’m not upset or anything here, but come on,I typed it into google! The map is right on the screen, how much work do I have to do to help you break up with your boy friend (something you’re going to do anyway) in a less then moral way?

“you’ll have to call them and ask, that’s all I really know” I tell her in a friendly voice. she thanks me and leaves back to her desk. a while latter I get an I.M. that it’s twice as expensive in town then it is on-line. she wants to know if I knew anyone interested it buying it when she was done…. maybe I should have told her I was not a L33T HAXXOR after all…

I told her that I didn’t and again recommended that she finds another way to work out her home troubles. In the end, if you don’t trust your significant other, then spying on them will either prove they are guilty or convince you that they are good at covering their tracks. If you are at that point in the relationship, it’s time to talk about it, tell them what’s on your mind and be true to yourself. Easier said then done, I know, but it’s the really the only way to have a strong relationship.