Eli Fulkerson .com

The Cheating Spouse Text Search List

What text to search for to catch a cheating spouse?

Once or twice in the past, I have been in the interesting position of analyzing a friend's hard drive for signs of their spouse's indiscretion. There are enough free forensic tools out there to make it relatively easy to recover sloppily deleted files and those sort of things, but I found that most of the time spent was in looking for the actual incriminating dirt among mountains and mountains of trash files.

Eventually, via a process of trial and error (with way too many false positives), I set up an automated search. It was just a matter of building a list of things that I thought would be likely to appear in indiscreet correspondence, but not so likely to appear in work email, web caches, random binary files and the like. This became the working list:

Some of them are less serious than others. It also helps to know a little bit about the people involved, slang, real names, pet names, etc which I didn't have. Also note that this is not an "explicit" list, it does not make the assumption that the communications you are trying to uncover are graphic.

If you have any suggestions or additions, please send them my way. Alternatively, if you are looking to shame a cheating spouse by placing intercepted communications on the internet, it would be very interesting to build an archive of example messages and train a Bayesian filter on it.