My wife and I recently set up a Wi-Fi zone at home using a wireless router. I think it’s configured correctly, but neither of us know anything about computing. Since we have financial data on the network, how can we determine if someone else is accessing our Wi-Fi?Because it is so important that wireless networks be properly secured, my best advice is to have a network or computer-repair professional review your network setup. It won’t take more than an hour or two of his or her time, but in that way you will have the peace of mind knowing that it was not only configured correctly, but that you have optimal security in place.If you really and truly want to do it yourself, there are lots of articles that will assist you. Here is a link to one such article, “How to Secure Your WiFi Network Against Intrusion” at http://bit.ly/rmgZwy, or run a Google or Bing search and you will find additional articles.As far as determining if somebody is accessing your network, there are several ways you can do that — but keep in mind that any time you check, you’re only checking at that precise moment and somebody could jump on your network (if it wasn’t properly secured) five minutes after you checked and you would never know it. Here is a link to another article, “How Can I Find Out if Someone is Using My Wireless Network?” at http://bit.ly/gQrNHk. Keep in mind that just because somebody (usually that creepy guy next door) is using your wireless for Internet access doesn’t mean they have hacked into your data.A properly configured router should render your network invisible on the Internet, so anybody trolling for available networks shouldn’t even be aware of your existence — which is another good reason to have a professional check it out for you. Why do I sometimes receive emails that are not addressed to me? In the To: field is an email address that isn’t even close to mine.The answer to this mystery lies in the BCC field, which conceals recipient addresses. The BCC field is commonly used by spammers. If you receive spam and the To: field doesn’t contain your email address, the sender has placed your email address in the BCC field along with countless other “lucky” recipients.
Mr. Modem publishes “Ask Mr. Modem!” each week, featuring PC tips, tricks and plain-English answers to your questions by email. For more information, visit www.Mr.Modem.com.