Thursday, February 11, 2010

Homeland Security

I am embarrassed to admit that we have the last 'unsecured' wireless network in the neighborhood. It seems that some of our neighbors, who do not have a network at all, are using ours. Maybe they don't even know that it is ours. Maybe they have guests who are logging onto the internet, assuming that they are using their host's services. At any rate, at times, it has become nearly unusable, it is so slow.

So, we have decided that action is necessary.

Today, The Mister spent over an hour on the phone with 'Sheila' in Bombay trying to learn how to secure our network. Between poor hearing and not having an ear for accents, he did not get very far.

I know a lot of computer technicians, since I am the HR manager in a technical call center (helpdesk).

Fortunately, it is not in Bombay...

I do my (non-technical) work amongst about 300 computer geeks, gamers and techno-heads every day. I am not a technical person, although I try to 'cover' when I am interviewing people for the job. (Thankfully, that is usually a tag-team event with one of the technical department managers). And, I have picked up a few tips (mostly just the lingo, though. "Please hold for one to two minutes, while I access my resources" and "Is the device plugged into the power source?")

I am pretty sure that I could find someone with the know-how to assist us.

But. If I were to ask one of them, they would have questions. For instance,

helper geek:"what kind of router do you have?"

me: "a computer one"

helper geek, "does it have a (something or another that I have no idea about)"

me: "maybe..."

And, I feel awkward asking. If feels like I am using company resources for personal use. Something that I have been told not to do for over 22 years (23 years, one week from today!)

So, besides everything else on the to-do list this weekend, I will try to reach Sheila, or one of her coworkers, and try to educate myself on securing wireless routers.

Or, maybe I will wait and see if any of our house guests (coming in just 4 weekend days!) will take pity on us and help us figure it out!

I am guessng they will, if they want to use our network!


Iron Needles said...

It can't be that hard?

Can it?

Surely, between Manfriend, WGuy, and the Brother...

I seriously bet you and I could figure it out if we weren't giving a party.

I bet the party is harder!

Kate said...

True Confessions: I hitched a ride on my neighbor's wireless for 2 years! I was heartbroken when he wised up and cut me off. :)

PS to Iron! The mere thought of it sounds hard to me.

Anonymous said...

Man-friend thinks he can definitely help, even if only to be the one to tolerate Sheila! He seems to be pretty good at things that have wires coming in/out of them. My money says you will be secure by the end of this month! - K

Gaynell said...

Luckily we have numerous areas of expertise in our family...knitting, embroidery, sewing and knowing what to do with computer things. It is not necessary for one person to do all!

Allie said...

Our local news just had a special on this. You need to get it secured! Thieves have a device now, they cruise neighborhoods with a laptop looking for unsecured networks. In a flash they can steal any information they want....passwords, credit card numbers, etc. Scary stuff. I'm looking at our news website to see if the article is still there, but I'm not finding it - they told you how to fix it. If I find it I'll email you the link.

Allie said...

Found it -

Anonymous said...

Well I could offer my husband for help but with K's Manfriend he would probably be the better help! Yahoo for a get together of talents!-R

Martha said...

I work as a tech asst, and I don't mind at all when the teachers ask me questions about tech problems at home. I'm sure the geeks would be happy to advise you, but my guess is you're going to have it all taken care of by your guests. It's going to be a great party, I'm sure.