Random Networks

A while back my desktop went belly up. Despite my best efforts and very robust security software programs, something very nasty got into my system. I won't point any fingers, but I highly recommend you ask your spouse to avoid logging into their notoriously porous work e-mail servers from home! Anyway, efforts to fix the problem only made it worse until I had no choice but to re-configure the whole system. In the meantime however, I couldn't afford any downtime, so we purchased a new system. The old box was purged of it's evil spirits and sat in the corner of my office until I reluctantly agreed to turn it over to the kids. It did make sense. Instead of cluttering my sparkling new system with kids games and other cute things, the old system could house all that stuff. And it also meant I could move the whole thing into the corner of the family room where a watchful eye could be kept on the activity. Convinced of the merits, I dutifully hooked up the wireless network to provide access to the carefully chosen child friendly portals and boosted the parental controls and filters to the max. And then reality came crashing in. It turns out that my neighborhood is a hotbed of wireless network activity. When I fired up the kids computer I got access to seven local networks. And I don't mean that the system recognized their presence, I mean I got access to them. Sure some of them carefully hid the identity of the owners, but with access to the network it wouldn't take much for some unscrupulous prowler to hack in to all those personal files. I was shocked to say the least. It's a lesson we all need to learn. Don't just protect your self and your computer. Think about your neighbors too!.