Hi Harold, Tubesandwires, hi everyone
In addition to my earlier response (#3), other Internet activity could be any type of messenger which commonly is started when Windows loads and directed to the system tray (usually right bottom of the screen).
Have your niece shut down all the obvious Internet programs; Internet browser, E-mail program, Messenger, RSS-feeds etc. on a reboot and than wait a little while.
After having waited a while, five or more minutes, run the netstat -p tcp command and check if there still are active connections listed.
Another option would be to disable all and only all the familiar looking Internet related items in the Startup tab of Msconfig.
Start => Run => msconfig => OK, click on the Startup tab. Reboot.
Once rebooted, run the netstat -p tcp command and check if there still are active connections listed.
If there are still entries listed in the Active Connections after either of the above procedures, and there is no home network or Internet related activity performed by your niece, than you can pretty sure suspected a virus or other malware. :-(
If your niece doesn't have a Anti-Virus, or outdated, program here are two online scanners:
Trend Micro - Free online virus scan,
Also get a copy of Hitman Pro, it comes with Ad-Aware, Spybot S&D etc...
When the system finally comes clean, and there isn't a Anti-Virus program installed aside of the 30 day's trial version of NOD32 which comes with Hitman Pro, there is: AVG Anti-Virus
Good luck and keep us posted.
Best Regards and Wishes,
The Count, Co-webmaster of mesich.com