[ad]Dear Computer Lady,
Once recently I saw a message on my screen “Another computer with the same IP address is on the network.”
Now does this mean I have been hacked? My second computer was OFF.
What info might the “rogue’ computer have access to? Everything in my files? What about my browser history? How should I have reacted?
Usually when you see that message, it means that another computer, or a device like a networked printer or hard drive that are physically connected to your home network are has been assigned the same IP address by your router that your computer is currently using.
This sometimes happens if another device boots up while another device is “asleep”.
Since an IP address is simply a unique address given to all devices on a network, this usually doesn’t mean that someone has hacked into your computer.
However, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible that someone hacked into your computer. You should always make sure you have a good firewall installed. Windows does come with a firewall, but there are also many others out there that do an even better job of protecting you from intruders. I use AVG Internet Security, which includes a good firewall.
One thing to avoid, is giving people remote access to your computer. While there are good tech support people out there who can remotely control your computer and fix problems for you, there are even more crooks out there who want you to think that they are fixing your computer, but instead they are either infecting your computer with their malware, stealing account numbers from your computer, or both.
When someone hacks into your computer, either without your knowledge, or if you have given them access, they can access anything on your computer. It can be a file that you saved, or browser information about the last purchase you made online, including your credit card information.
I’m not sure what to tell you for how you should have reacted. Prevention is much better than cleanup after the fact.
It’s Your Turn: What do you think?
…. Share your experience in the comments box below.
Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
Connect with Elizabeth on Google+