One of my business computer repair clients had an interesting security question for me last week. They were looking at their Microsoft Windows laptop’s taskbar which is at the bottom of the desktop. Near the right side is a wireless icon and they had opened it.  They were frightened to see listings like Lee’s Wi-Fi Network, 9KCLJ, PhoneNet, Home-145C, Frontier7739, and others.  My client thought these were unauthorized computers connected to their computer or wireless network.  I assured them these were wireless networks near their location that your computer sees and not people or computers connected to their computer or network.  My client was connected to the top one which is their network. Since my client didn’t travel with this computer, they never had to open this network program and attach and connect to other networks.

To see who is connected to your wireless network, you would open the administrator console to your router in a web browser, login and find wireless connections or network connections or something similar. You can use the netstat command at the command prompt in Windows to see what is connected to your computer.  If you want to really ensure no one is connecting to your wireless network when you are done with it, turn off your wireless router. This is something I do when I’m done with my wireless network and the internet in my office which is usually just before I go to bed. What things do you do to protect your network?

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