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In need of advice

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#1 Dash02


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  • Local time:06:03 PM

Posted 27 July 2015 - 05:15 PM

I'm a new member, and would like to start off by expressing my appreciation that this site exists, and for any help anyone can give me ... I'm in a real bind.


I spend most of my work time every day on the computer, and have done so for like 20+ years.  Nevertheless, I know very little about computers. 


I moved to a new city this past Friday in order to live in the same city as my gf.  I am renting an apartment, which is rather unique.  The property is owned by a professional photographer, who I will refer to herein as "Sam".  The building structure consists of three distinct units ... a residence that is occupied by Sam, his wife and children ... Sam's photographic studio ... and one apartment unit, which I am residing in, and from which I operate my business.  Under the terms of the lease, all utilities are included in my rent ... i.e., Sam pays for gas, electric, water/sewer, cable TV and internet, the latter two of which are obtained through Time Warner Cable (TWC).


Within an hour of getting to town and taking possession of the apartment unit, I phoned Sam upstairs and asked him what I needed to do to obtain internet access.  He told me that I should click on the wireless network connection for "AptRES" and he gave me a passcode, which provided me a connection with no problem.  My computer also picks up signals from two other networks ... one named "Studio Guests" and the other named "Sam Smith Studio."  It's safe to assume that Sam has access and control of all three of these networks.


At some point it occurred to me that a serious security issue may exist.  Am I right?  While Sam seems like a nice guy, and has treated me well so far, I really don't know him.  It now occurs to me that Sam may be able to obtain very confidential information that could provide him access to every nickel that I own.  I do online banking for myself as well as my elderly father.  As stated, I'm online for many hours pretty much everyday, and it is not unusual for me to provide my SSN, my debit card number and passcodes online.  I have very recently been victimized by theft on two separate occasions by business associates.  I have sadly learned the hard way that people can not be trusted.  Sam is a smart guy and seems very computer savvy ... MUCH more than I am.  This makes me nervous. 


I decided that the safest solution would be to obtain and pay for my own internet connection.  In the process of terminating my service at my prior residence with TWC, I asked what it would cost me to obtain stand-alone internet service at my new residence.  The TWC phone rep looked up my new address and said that TWC's system shows Sam's address to be a single residence, and that TWC was already providing service to that residence.  I got nervous that perhaps Sam is scamming TWC, and that I was now tipping them off.  I don't want to piss off my new landlord ... I've done that before, and it generally doesn't end well for a tenant to do that.  ATT Uverse isn't available at my new address, and WOW requires that renters such as myself to provide written permission of the property owner for WOW to be installed on their property.  In any case, it would be uncomfortable to have any service installed.  Sam lives right there and would certainly become aware of the installation.  What reason other than the truth could I give him for obtaining my own internet service?


I do own an Apple iphone which I think, when connected to my laptop, will provide me with a hotspot that I could use outside of Sam's networks.  Perhaps I can use the iphone internet access when doing my online banking, purchasing things that require me to provide my debit card number, etc.  This would be burdensome, but I suppose I can do it.  Would this approach be safe?


After doing some reading, I listed the AptRES connection as a "public" network in order to (hopefully) prevent Sam from gaining access to my computer and observing my activities and discovering sensitive information. 


I also changed some settings in my computer's control panel/network and sharing center/choose homegroup and sharing options/advanced sharing center.  Specifically, I turned off:


     Network discovery

     File and printer sharing

     Public folder sharing


     Media streaming is not turned on


     And password protected sharing is turned on


I apologize for the lengthy post.


Any thoughts or suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated.
















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