Tech Q&A: How to end or prevent online hacking harassment

Steve Alexander, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Business News

Q: Over the last three years, I've been the victim of harassment via the internet and cellphone calls. I've reported it to the police and the FBI, but they haven't been able to stop it. Do you have any idea what I can do about the following:

-- My husband and I use Wi-Fi to access the internet on our iPhones, but I'm having trouble logging in to social media, particularly Facebook. The activity logs in both our Facebook accounts show that IP addresses other than ours have been logging in to the accounts.

-- About two years ago, my Gmail account suddenly started getting about 400 pornographic spam e-mails a month.

-- My iPhone has failed to receive multiple phone calls, e-mails and texts that friends and relatives say they sent to me.

-- On my previous phone, an Android, calls from the local sheriff's office were cut off before I could answer them. A deputy said my phone number appeared to be blocking him (it wasn't.)

-- When the same Android phone was sitting on a dresser, my husband I heard it make odd noises in the middle of the night.


-- My tablet computer started getting locked out of my Instagram account at the same time that an unidentified white cargo van stopped in our neighbors' driveway. The driver told the neighbor he stopped because he liked their house lights.

Caroline Pennington, Franklin, Ohio

A: The common thread in all these incidents is wireless communications.

One possibility is that someone is blocking your Wi-Fi and cellphone signals using an illegal device called a "jammer." Another possibility is that someone has hacked your home Wi-Fi router and installed malware on it that is affecting all of your devices.


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