Safe Surfing: Narcissist Invades Your Computer

Uploaded 3/22/2011, approx. 4 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

Your narcissist is likely to haunt you and hunt you, even via your computer, your smartphone, or your personal digital assistant.

Nothing is safe, not your laptop, not your netbook, not even your iPad. The narcissist is likely to install malware, malicious software on your computer, in order to log everything you type, to discover and unearth your passwords, to break into your email accounts, and even into your bank account.

You ought to be very careful, because narcissists tend to engage in identity theft. They tend to install on your computer and other electronic devices, key loggers, trojans, viruses, worms, and other forms of malicious software.

How could you defend and protect yourself against these intrusive and yet surreptitious techniques?

By implementing 12 rules of behavior.

Number one, never click on a link that is contained in an email message, an instant message, or a post to a Usenet or some support group or a forum. Never click on links. Never open or install a program directly from the internet.

First, download the program to your hard disk, then scan it with your antivirus software, and only then, if it proves to be clean, consider installing it. Even when you install it, try to sandbox the installation process. Most antivirus and firewall products provide today the option of installing the program in a sandbox.

In other words, without interacting with the computer itself, and thus neutralizing the program's ability to infect your computer.

Rule number three, never open or install a program directly from a USB, a CD-ROM, or a DVD. Again, first scan these devices with your antivirus software, and only then, if they and the program prove clean, consider installing it in a sandbox mode.

Never enter any personal details in forms which are housed or stored on unknown sites. Very often you visit a site which you have never visited before, and you are asked to provide a lot of personal information. Don't. Never type your user ID or password unless you see the lock icon at the bottom or the top of the screen, and the web address must start with HTTPS.

That means secure. In most browsers, the address bar is colored yellow or green to indicate that the website is safe.

Pay attention to this trio. The lock icon at the bottom or at the top of the screen, the HTTPS address, and the coloring of the address bar.

Never click on a pop-up, no matter what the pop-up says. Do not click on a pop-up even if you just want to close it. Simply ignore the pop-up. Never open attachments that you receive by email. If you are in doubt, save the attachment to your hard disk, scan it with your antivirus software, and only then, if the attachment proves to be clean, open it.

Try to read all your email messages in text format rather than HTML. You can change the settings of your email client, your email program, to read and to write everything, all the messages in text.

Messages in text cannot infect your computer. Messages in HTML can and very often do.

Never visit unfamiliar websites.

First, go to Google,, and check whether the site is legitimate and does not carry or is infested with malware. Only if the website is clean, visit the site for the first time using a non-Microsoft browser, preferably Firefox or Chrome, Google Chrome.

Rule number nine, change your passwords frequently.

Use complex passwords containing both numbers and letters and both capitalized letters and cursive ones. Never give your passwords to anyone. Try not to write them down on pieces of paper attached to your computer.

Update your operating system. Update your antivirus program, your firewall, your anti-spyware program, and update all the utilities on your computer. Check for updates daily. These patches are very important. They keep your computer safe and your narcissist out.

Scan your computer for malware every time you use it, after you have used it. Scanning with multiple anti-malware programs is very important.

Finally, anything suspicious happens, stop everything you're doing. Disconnect from the computer, from the internet, and scan the computer for malware.

What do I mean when I say something suspicious?

Examples of suspicious events or behavior?

Well, persistent pop-ups. Or the computer or the connection slowed down considerably. Or repeated reboots, which you have not initiated. Or your mouse and keyboard freeze. Or you get strange messages and alerts. All these are suspicious signs.

Stop everything you're doing. Disconnect from the internet. Scan your computer. Delete the malware. Without malware, your narcissist is helpless. There's nothing he can obtain from you that you do not want to give him.

Malware is the narcissist's back door into your life. He is there even when he is not there. Make sure that he is not there.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Money: Narcissist's License to Abuse

Money is a love substitute for the narcissist, allowing them to be their corrupt selves and buy absolution, forgiveness, and acceptance. It is a license to sin and a permit to be unmitigated self. Money liberates the mind of the narcissist, allowing them to concentrate on attaining the desired position on top. The narcissist is addicted to money because it is the freedom not to behave in a way that is unbearable to them in the long run.

Giving Narcissist Second Chance

Narcissists do not provide closure in relationships and will stalk, cajole, beg, promise, persuade, and ultimately succeed in doing the impossible to get you back. The narcissist will cast all interactions with you in terms of conflicts or competitions to be won. If you have resumed contact because you are manifestly dependent on the narcissist financially or emotionally, the narcissist will pounce on your frailty and exploit your fragility to the maximum. Ultimately, the narcissist will write the inevitable cycle of idealization and devaluation.

Narcissist Uses Money to Enslave, Bribe Victim

Narcissists use money to manipulate and control their victims, who often equate money with love and become entangled in the narcissist's web. Victims may engage in self-deception and cognitive dissonance to justify their sacrifices and remain on the narcissist's good side. However, they may eventually rebel and become passive-aggressive, bitter, depressed, and paranoid. If they do not extricate themselves in time, they may acquire the traits and behavior patterns of their narcissistic abusers and form a shared psychosis mediated by money.

Remain Friends with the Narcissist?

Narcissists are only friendly when they need something from you, such as narcissistic supply, help, support, votes, money, or sex. They also become friendly when they feel threatened and want to smother the threat with pleasantries. Narcissists are also over-friendly when they have just been infused with an overdose of narcissistic supply. Some people prefer to live with narcissists because they have been conditioned to treat narcissistic abuse as background noise and are compensated for the abuse by the thrills provided by living with a narcissist. However, inverted narcissists are typically unhappy and in need of help, which suggests that they are victims who experience the Stockholm Syndrome.

Narcissists Hate Children and Envy Them

Narcissists hate children because they envy them. Children's feigned innocence, manipulation, and lack of empathy are disarming in their directness. Narcissists see children as both mirrors and competitors, reflecting their constant need for adulation and attention. Children are loved by mothers, which makes narcissists jealous and infuriated by their deprivation. Narcissists hate children for being them.

Can Narcissist Truly Love?

Narcissists are incapable of true love, but they do experience some emotion which they insist is love. Narcissists love their significant others as long as they continue to provide them with attention, or narcissistic supply. There are two types of narcissistic love: one type loves others as one would get attached to objects, while the other type abhors monotony and constancy, seeking instability, chaos, upheaval, drama, and change. In the narcissist's world, mature love is nowhere to be seen, and their so-called love is fear of losing control and hatred of the very people on whom their personality depends.

Narcissist's Family

Narcissists perceive new family members, including siblings, children, and even pets, as threats to their narcissistic supply. They may belittle, hurt, or humiliate them, or retreat into an imaginary world of omnipotence. Some narcissists seek to manipulate new family members to monopolize attention and vicariously obtain narcissistic supply. As siblings or offspring grow older and become critical, the narcissist devalues and discards them, feeling stifled and trapped. The family disintegrates, and the cycle begins anew with the arrival of new family members.

How Narcissist's Victims Deceive Themselves

Narcissists cannot be cured and are a threat to those around them. Victims of narcissists often confuse shame with guilt and attribute remorsefulness to the narcissist when they are actually feeling shame for failing. Narcissists are attracted to vulnerable people who offer them a secure source of narcissistic supply. Healing is dependent on a sense of security in a relationship, but the narcissist is not interested in healing and would rather invest their energy in obtaining narcissistic supply. Narcissists lack empathy and cannot understand others, making them a danger to those around them.

Narcissist Has No Friends

Narcissists treat their friends like Watson and Hastings, who are obsequious and unthreatening, and provide them with an adulating gallery. Narcissists cannot empathize or love, and therefore have no real friends. They are interested in securing narcissistic supply from narcissistic supply sources. The narcissist overvalues people when they are judged to be potential sources of supply, and devalues them when no longer able to supply him, ultimately leading to the alienation and distancing of people.

Love Your Narcissist? Make Him Stay, Depend on You (Tips, Resolutions)

In a relationship with a narcissist, it is important to know what not to do and what to do to maintain the relationship. Avoid disagreeing, contradicting, or criticizing the narcissist, and never offer intimacy or challenge their self-image. To make the narcissist dependent on you, listen attentively, agree with everything they say, offer something unique, be patient, and be emotionally and financially independent. It is also crucial to know yourself and set personal boundaries, treating yourself with dignity and demanding respect from others. If the relationship becomes abusive, consider going no-contact and ending the relationship for your own well-being.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2023, under license to William DeGraaf
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