Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
The news is grim if someone's broken into your computer, but there are steps to take to prevent it from happening again.
My computers' security has been compromised. How can I rid my computer of a remote intruder. I've had this computer for about 5 or 6 years. ... I found out about the nefarious activities only after the person left my company. Although I can't think of anything of value, this person is extremely clever and smart. If getting rid of my computer and replacing it with a new one is the only way to unequivocally extract this 'spectator' I'll do it in a heartbeat. However - what safeguards must be in place from day 1 with a new computer to prevent the same thing from happening again, plus prevent any and all intrusions imparting absolute confidence in the security of my personal computer?
A tricky problem, to be sure. Someone breaks in, you know they're smart, but you don't what they did. Can you clean up and how do you keep it from happening again?
The news really isn't good.
There's a school of thought that says if your computer has been compromised, you have really only one option: reformat. That's a drastic step, but if your intruder is as adept as you indicate, it may be the best approach. If they're really good, they could leave hooks that you could never find.
In your shoes, I'd do the following:
Readers: do you have additional tips for security? Add your comments below.