It would appear one of my neighbours is monitoring my internet traffic, I am wondering firstly how is this possible and secondly would using a VPN stop the attacker from being able to read / intercept my traffic? They are posting my data online and others are harassing me for it.

What can I do to stop this? Will replacing my router help in any way?

  • Perhaps you should have asked instead how knowing your MAC would help somebody observe your internet activity. – Cthulhu Sep 23 '15 at 8:37
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    Knowing your MAC address will not allow anyone to watch your activities. It is a link layer identifier and does not go beyond your ISP. MAC addresses can be obtained very easily through capturing raw 802.11 packet frames. This has nothing to do with VPNs. – limbenjamin Sep 23 '15 at 9:10
  • Harriet - as others have said, knowing your MAC address doesn't allow snooping. So if your internet activities are being monitored, we can't begin to guess how. And it may be the case that it is your computer that has been hacked or even your email. Can you explain why you think your activity is being tracked and why you think it is due to a MAC address theft? – Neil Smithline Sep 23 '15 at 17:48
  • I bet your wifi password is either default or WEP isnt it? – TheHidden Sep 25 '15 at 13:50
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    I don't have WiFi – Harriet L. Carter Sep 27 '15 at 16:54

Remember, just because you are using a wired connection, doesn't mean that your router/modem doesn't have a wireless connection. Most ISPs that I'm aware of, give out a wireless modem/router these days since wireless has become more prevalent.

The person you spoke to at your ISP is correct in saying that wireless connections are relatively easy to crack, especially if they are left to their defaults, which I'm assuming that yours is since you said that you aren't using it. You may want to contact your ISP to find out if you do in fact have a wireless modem/router and if you do, how to disable it.

  • If you don't mind my saying, I've read some of the posts here editing my original question, and I think they are a little bit weird to say the least. Number 1, it might be illegal, but try to get law enforcement to consider electronic harassment as something that they should consider criminal. Police won't do anything unless there is a physical attack. You have to have proof of some kind, which would mean hiring a private investigator. Too expensive for me. Plus, if you don't think the question makes any sense, why try answering it? Why change the question? It's not your question. – Harriet L. Carter Sep 26 '15 at 9:40
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    Ok, I'm a little confused by your comment to me. I never tried to change your question nor did I ask my own. You wanted to know how to stop your neighbor from intercepting your activity. My response as well as the other responses are quite accurate. Laws are generally behind when it comes to the cyber. A VPN will not work in these situations as a VPN is a virtual tunnel which means that you need to have a VPN endpoint set up on the other end. If your neighbor is truly monitoring your traffic, we would likely need to be connected to your network, either by wired or wireless connection. – aeribus Sep 26 '15 at 13:08
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    This is why I said that you may have a wireless router and are not aware of it. This would also explain why your ISP told you to set up WPA. So again, my previous response still stands. Contact your ISP and have them check what equipment they sent you. If it has a wireless connection that you were unaware of, the default settings are most likely still set making it very easy to gain access to. Your ISP can also tell you how to disable to disable the wireless radio to help prevent this from happening again in the future. – aeribus Sep 26 '15 at 13:08
  • Apologies Aeribus, as I thought my comment was attached to all the answers 'correcting' my question. I think your answers have been helpful. I have been to the police and they don't really know what to do with cyber-spying. I live in a small town in the US and they have no idea. – Harriet L. Carter Sep 27 '15 at 17:03
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    @HarrietL.Carter The reason people change your question is because it does not make sense and we do not want your poorly structured question taking up this resource, do not mistake this for being a forum, you may ask the question but this is a question archive to help EVERYONE, I changed your questions because the english was disgusting and barely readable, also you don't even understand your own question which makes it impossible to answer. so before you start getting defensive over "your question" remember this is OUR resource and this is a COMMUNITY. – TheHidden Sep 28 '15 at 9:03

To add to aeribus's answer, replacing your router can definitely help. Depending on how your network is set up, if you currently have an ONT (Optical Network Terminal) set up, along with a wireless router, you may call your ISP to ask if they can replace your current wireless router with a wired router.

In case they cant provide you with a wired router, ask if you'd be able to buy your own wired router and have their technician set it up for you. I'm currently in the process of getting a wired router since routers are beneficial in that they provide your LAN with NAT - good for security.

Depending how far you'd want to go wireless, many enterprises have stringent rules regarding their wireless systems. Many go so far as to removing the WiFI cards from their computers.

A VPN would help keep your anonymity safe. Private Internet Access purportedly dont log their users data, and they have various servers around the world, albeit some slower than others.


No, VPN encrypts your connection and protect you from eavesdropping. It is used to secure a connection between two endpoints in a non-secure network. It is often used by companies/organisations for their members in order to let them work from a location outside the office. VPN can also be used to hide the real IP address from an individual computer.

Here is a good article about VPN if you want to know more.

A thread where they discuss the matter: Understanding VPNs : How VPNs can be used for anonymization?

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    While this answer isn't wrong, it doesn't seem to address the real problem. The OP incorrectly assumes that knowing a MAC address allows their network traffic to be snooped. We don't really know what is going on so we can't really address the problem. For example, what if the actual attack involves spyware on the client computer? Then VPN offers no protection. We just don't know without a better question. – Neil Smithline Sep 23 '15 at 17:46
  • Thanks so much everyone for your answers. No doubt people in question knew what websites I visited, but putting that aside, I contacted my server about this. The person I spoke to there said that WIFI was easy to crack and explained about getting WPA2. When I said that I had a wired connection to the internet and people were eavesdropping that, he said that it was impossible unless they had MAC address on my router (not the computer). That MAC address can be followed to retrieve browsing history, so he said. The computer itself is cleaned as I've had it swept. – Harriet L. Carter Sep 24 '15 at 23:57
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    @HarrietL.Carter That MAC address can be followed to retrieve browsing history It doesn't really seem like he understands what he it talking about. – Cthulhu Sep 25 '15 at 7:35
  • Maybe not as he worked for the ISP, and they have not been helpful at all to me, to say the least. – Harriet L. Carter Sep 27 '15 at 17:12
  • "unless they have Mac address on your router" may mean "unless they also have a device (with its own Mac address) connected to your router. – Ben Jul 2 '18 at 0:31

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