You found the porn on the computer and were told “I don’t know how that got there”. You got the admission from your husband that he’s had sex with other men, but “that’s all done now”. But you just don’t know. He seems to have an answer for everything, and he’s so secretive about his schedule, his meetings, his cell phone. And you feel like maybe you are hurting his feelings, not trusting him, not believing him. Let’s look at what is possible with technology, to put your mind at rest – or to confirm your suspicions.
Yes, it is possible to get a virus that infects your computer by downloading pornography without your knowledge. This has been a huge defense of pedophiles who are caught with illegal porn – and it has ruined the lives of innocent people. It is possible to get a virus attached to file sharing applications on social networking sites that will substitute pornographic images for the advertising that appears on non-pornographic websites. When you have a virus like this, you can wonder if the entire world has gone mad. If you find this happening, get thee to a geek as soon as possible, and expect to spend money to fix it. You can also contact anti virus software companies, such as Norton, and take advantage of their live support. They will connect to your computer remotely, and work with you to clean it up.
There’s a new kind of intruder, called “ransomware“. This started in the gaming industry, when hackers were able to freely access X rated computer games. The virus looks like you are installing a feature of the game, and then informs you that your private information that you just used for sign up will be publicly displayed on a website until you pay up. The games usually feature sexual activity that is linked to fetishes and is not socially acceptable in general – so the user pays. It’s the same type of vicious attack that will lock up your windows files until you pay or wire money – exposing your account information.
However, most computer professionals will tell you, those pop ups and strange trojans don’t appear unless someone has already visited sites that feature this type of porn. If the family computer is infected, you need to have a professional identify the virus and its source, and help you get rid of it.
Now, what about the phone? As a straight wife, you probably had no idea, but here’s the truth – bathroom nookie and internet dating for gay men have a high tech boost with an app for smart phones called Grindr. It works by GPS – once the app is launched, the physically closest guys who also have the app appear first. Picture, profile, contact information. That means that when your husband’s flight is delayed, he can use this app to anonymously surf the crowd at the airport for a quick date. Same when he is bored at the little league game and wants to see if there are any other dads like him. It works on Iphone, Blackberry, and Wi-fi with iPod touch and iPad.
It’s not uncommon for married couples to share one anothers’ cell phones. If your husband’s smartphone is under more lock and key than the President’s Blackberry, and yet the bill is paid from your household budget, you have reason to have a healthy suspicion that he is not telling you the truth.
You can, and should, set boundaries. Tell your husband to use his own computer, and his own internet service, and that he may no longer access the family computer, printer, scanner, or fax machine. You and your family have a right to be safe in cyberspace. Also, if he uses a laptop, he is not to look at it when family is present. Everyone knows what it means when he quickly closes it up. It is painful to a wife to know that she is not the love of her husbands life, but the mommy figure who catches him being a bad boy. This does nothing for a marriage, and it erodes a woman’s sense of self. None of this should be going on in your presence, or on any computer network used by other family members.
If the porn keeps appearing, and you know your husband no longer has access to the computer, take it back to your expert, and consider that your teens may be visiting inappropriate sites. That’s a whole new set of boundaries; and a purchase of new anti virus software, and possibly spyware.