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I'm using Windows XP. I have heard that other users (or hackers) can access my computer's data when I'm online.

So how can I know who is accessing my computer? I would like to create a log of these attempts.

I'm not using any firewall, and my computer's directly connected to a modem.

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If someone out there is really accessing your laptop chances are high that he tries to leave no trace (eg. delete logs). –  Baarn Jan 28 '12 at 15:29
    
@Walter, yes but they will likely only delete standard logs. It is unlikely that they will know of and delete the logs of countless available software, let alone a custom one. (Of course, if they do have access to the system, then they should be able to see what software is installed, etc. and narrow their efforts.) –  Synetech Feb 1 '12 at 3:23
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If you are really worried about security, you might want to consider a user friendly Linux distribution like Ubuntu. –  William Feb 1 '12 at 3:31

2 Answers 2

I asked something similar for a web server a few years back and this is the reply I got for doing a post-mortem on a server hack.

Dave is right on the money when he says that getting a firewall will help block access to your machine from both outside intrussion and hidden software inside your computer that will be trying to send information back home.

The biggest thing to do with a firewall (such as ZoneAlarm or the built-in Windows Firewall) is to block any unused ports. Closing the ports will prevent any unauthorized access to your network (ie, you machine).

If you are interested more of the technical details about computer security you can check out the 'security' tag on ServerFault where you can find quite a few questions on how to secure machines, networks, and such.

Hope this helps with your research.

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Use a firewall that has logging enable. Running without any way to block access is asking someone to acess your computer. Even Windows XP firewall would help.

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How do you need to configure Windows Firewall? How can you access its logs? Not a Windows user, but would be interesting to know. –  slhck Jan 28 '12 at 14:51
    
@slhck, ‽​​​​​​ –  Synetech Feb 1 '12 at 3:25

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