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Did my wireless network get hacked?

Posted by Chris Allard on Mon, Jul 07, 2014

Wifi wireless hacking and the hackers who hack themDear Techie,

One day I suddenly noted that a device named "Dr. Phil" was on my list of devices. How did that happen? How can someone's device enter my PC?



    -  Worried About Dr. Phil in Philadelphia




While the device shows as being a device on your computer, it is not “on your computer” per se, it has just been discovered by your computer and has shown on a list of devices available to connect to. This is because of Windows’ network auto-discovery feature, introduced with Windows Vista, where devices running on a Windows platform can show up as networkable to other Windows devices automatically. You can disable this feature (for your own device at least). Chances are, the device was simply using your wireless network for the internet connection, as this is most likely why unknown devices will appear on your network.


You don’t want someone on your network, however, unless you trust them, as they then have access to many things you problem. I would recommend changing your wireless password and using WPA2 encryption standards when assigning your new password to be more secure. But also ask everyone you know that is using your network whether that device may be theirs. In some cases, someone has just changed the name of their device and it’s an unknown device to you the first time you see it. Changing your password should cause this device to disconnect from your network and unless they are forcing or cracking their way into your network, it will not appear on it again.


Thanks for your question, I hope this helps.

A Techie

Tags: Hacking, Network Security, wireless security, wifi security, router security, network, online safety, Hackers, Ask-a-techie, encrypted passwords, Computer Protection, Security