Friday, February 21, 2014

Suddenly, There's Velma

I live in a rural community, and the nearest house, while visible, is not close. It's probably three football fields away - so, what, 300 yards? 900 feet?

In any event, having neighbors generally is not an issue. I can parade around in my birthday suit throughout the house with the curtains open if I want and not worry, unless the UPS truck is outside. (Not that I do, but I could.)

So imagine my surprise last night when Velma suddenly showed up. My husband and I were on the couch; the man of the house was watching something uninteresting and I had my Kindle playing Words with Friends.

My connection went "poof" which lately has not been an unusual occurrence with my provider. I went to my settings to check the connection.

And there was Velma.

Velma was the name of another home network that my Kindle was picking up.

I sucked in air, because I'd never seen this before. It felt like a violation, really, to have this person's network trespassing on my air space.

I almost freaked out, but I had set up a secure home network with a password. I clicked on Velma, and Velma didn't require a password.

I hit cancel immediately and did not secure the connection, but I wondered where this came from, and why it wasn't secure.

Because we are so rural, I expect whoever set up Velma felt safe just leaving it alone. When I first set our home network up, years ago now, I almost didn't bother with the password. Few people had home networks then - heck, not even coffee shops had them. The instruction book said the router only radiated out about 50 feet or so, and no one was that close. But I dutifully went ahead and created a password and set the firewall. I didn't think it mattered, really, since I'm on a farm, surrounded by acres of pasture and forest.

But last night, there was Velma, and I thought, if I can see Velma, she might be able to see me. I was so unnerved that I went back and double-checked my settings to be sure all was safe.

It was weird, finding Velma. It made me feel like I should close the curtains, and keep on my clothes. City folks are probably laughing at me, as I imagine they have network after network listed on their devices. But it felt like such a violation, to have Velma where she wasn't before. To think I might be seen, and I will never know.

How about you? Is your home network safe and secure?


  1. Like you, I have a "rural" network, but my router isn't powerful and my wi-fi doesn't extend very far from the house. In fact, I can't even access the internet in my garage.

  2. When I travel to Orange County I have scads of networks pop up. Most of them have a password. If I was just reading or playing a game, I might "borrow" a network. I figure it is for when they have guests, so it isn't secured. We have one with a password and one without. So maybe Velma has that one for friends. You're pretty friendly! Just don't wander naked through her network.

  3. To this day I can never figure out if the internet settings are ever safe and secure so many goofy things happen online and with blogger I would go insane trying to figure it all out . I do know what you mean there are days it does freak me out.

  4. My home network has a password on it, and I call it "FBI obs van". LOL

  5. Hmm, I've seen that network, Kathy. Just kidding! A, really, you were very nice to not just stay clothed but not wander around in Velma's territory. To answer your question, "Oh heck yes!"

  6. That would be freaky. I occasionally borrow a friend's cheap Nook she has for lending to friends, and I'm honestly surprised that all my neighbors DO seem to have secure networks.


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