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.

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