This article will be answering this common question: “how do I check recent activity on my computer?”. I will show you how to review recent activities using apps that come included with Windows as well as CurrentWare’s employee and computer monitoring software solutions.
Checking recent activity on your computer allows you to see how the devices in your network have been used, allowing you to investigate suspicious activity such as web browsing and changes to files during periods where nobody should have been accessing the PC.
Need to monitor computer activity on another computer? With CurrentWare’s employee computer monitoring software, monitoring computer activities is as easy as installing the solution on your employee’s computers and running reports on their computer activity from a convenient central console.
If you are concerned that someone else has been using your computer, Windows includes free tools that you can use to check recent activity on your computer. If you discover events that occurred when you were not using your computer, it could be an indication that your computer was used without your knowledge.
Note: When you view the logs in Windows Event Viewer you are likely to see a few event logs of errors that have occurred on your machine. This is completely normal and not an immediate cause for concern if your machine is otherwise running smoothly – the application records every event on your computer, including minor start-up and processing errors that have likely resolved themselves.
Windows Event Viewer is a utility that comes included with the Windows operating system. It’s intended to be used by system administrators to view event logs on local and remote machines, but it can also tell you when your computer has been turned on. If your computer has been turned on when you were not using it, that could mean that someone else was using your computer.
If you are using Windows 10 Professional, you can also enable auditing of logon events in the Local Group Policy Editor. This will allow you to track which user accounts log in to your Windows devices.
If you would like to audit logon events for multiple computers, you can use enPowerManager’s logon/logoff tracking report for monitoring these computer activities at-scale.
Viewing recently edited files on your Windows machine will allow you to see what files were opened on your computer. If you find files that were recently modified when you were not using your PC, this could mean that someone else was on your computer.
Each web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, Edge, etc) comes with its own internet browsing history. This can often be accessed by launching the program and pressing CTRL + H to bring up the browsing data of your device.
Unfortunately, if you or another user were browsing in a private browsing mode such as Chrome’s Incognito mode or Edge’s InPrivate mode you will not be able to see internet browsing activity from that time period using this method.
Fortunately, there are tools for monitoring computer activities that can track web browsing history even when private browsing modes are used.
CurrentWare’s BrowseReporter is a computer monitoring software that can be used to monitor activity on your own computer or another computer in your network. BrowseReporter is a powerful employee tracking software for monitoring how employees use the internet and computer applications in the workplace.
BrowseReporter can track these computer activities:
The fastest way to track web and application activity on your computer will be to perform a standalone installation of CurrentWare by installing BrowseReporter, the CurrentWare server, the CurrentWare console, and CurrentWare client on the same device.
If you would like to use BrowseReporter to monitor another computer, you can do so by installing the CurrentWare client on each computer that you would like to track. If you’d like to give it a try before purchasing a license, you can track internet activity for free with a 14-day trial.
If you will be managing multiple devices you will benefit greatly from the included central console as it allows you to manage all of your devices remotely rather than checking each computer manually.
Checking USB device history is incredibly useful for performing a digital forensics investigation. If you are running a business it can be helpful to see USB activities on your network to collect evidence of illicit data transfers and the use of unauthorized devices by your employees.
If you are monitoring USB activities on a standalone machine and you do not need real-time alerts or detailed file transfer history, you can use Windows Event Viewer to view events where USB devices have been connected and disconnected from the computer.
If you would like more detailed information about how USB devices are used on your endpoint devices, you can use AccessPatrol for monitoring computer activities such as portable storage file operations and device usage history.
AccessPatrol’s USB tracking features:
Email alerts can be configured in AccessPatrol to generate real-time alerts of USB device usage and file operations on the endpoints in your network.
There are a wide array of use cases for monitoring computer activities in your network. With the tips listed in this article you will be able to track web browsing history, determine if someone has been using your computer, investigate employee data theft, and track logon events.