Tech Pranks

iD Tech in action

Let's talk about pranks. Specifically, pranks involving technology. If you access to some fairly common technology, you can prank like never before. Here are a few options:

Ghost Writing

This prank is simple. If you have a coworker nearby, find an extra USB keyboard (you could even use your own) and, depending on how far you are from your coworker's computer, one or more USB extension cords. Plug your extension into their computer when they aren't around and discreetly run the cord over to your computer where you plug in either your keyboard or an extra one. Alternatively, you can use an extra mouse instead.

The key to this prank is subtlety. Most operating systems allow multiple input devices, so you can simultaneously use two keyboards. As you go through the day, sporadically type a few characters here and there on your extension keyboard, especially when your coworker is working on a document, or email. You don't want them to become overly suspicious, but instead think that they are having trouble typing. Just an extra letter here and there to start.

Other methods of subtle harrassment with this technique include randomly pressing the Windows key (or some other function-type key) or turning Capslock on occasionally. Again, don't over do it or it will raise suspicion. If you opted for the mouse instead, small movements or the occasional right-click should do just fine.


  • USB extension cord(s)
  • USB keyboard

Hidden Friend

This prank requires any sort of device that can occasionally make noise. The original prank began with a stopwatch we received from a vendor for free, though you can use any similar device that can be set to beep on a regular interval. In this case, I set the time incorrectly so that the hourly beep wouldn't occur on the hour for further annoyance. Just hide the watch somewhere and wait for the fun begins.
If you need a more extreme version of this prank, check out this product from ThinkGeek: This version is set to random periods between beeps and designed just for this prank.


  • Stopwatch or other small device that can beep routinely
  • ThinkGeek Annoy-A-Tron

Auricular Feedback

All you need for this prank is a stereo line-in cable. That's the cable you use to connect your speakers to your computer. More specifically, it's a cable with a 1/8in male headphone jack on each side. Most speakers come with one or several of these cables. Attach one end to the line-in or microphone jack on your coworker's computer. These jacks usually have icons to represent what they are. Next, plug the other end of the cable into the speaker-out jack on your computer. Basically, the sound from your computer will be played on their computer as microphone or line-in input.
You may need to unmute or adjust the volume of their microphone/line-in while they are away. To start, set your volume very low. You don't want to make them suspicious too soon. Make sure that no unexpected noise plays on your computer - it blows your cover quickly when your favorite mp3 starts playing on their computer. Instead, play small annoying sounds, like insect buzzes, audio tests (, the Mosquito, a sound file with frequency that only certain ages can hear), or weird beeps and boops from Flash game sites with sample sounds. Don't overdo it, and gradually increase either the volume or the obnoxiousness of the sounds as the day progresses for maximum effect.


  • Speaker Line-In cable

Those are just a few for now, but check back in later for more!

A photo of Ryan

Ryan manages blog content at iD Tech, starting with the company in 2008. He earned his MBA from Santa Clara University after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State. Connect on LinkedIn!

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