Question from Deidra: I have grounded my 13 year old daughter for a month for getting into some pretty serious trouble at school.
Part of her “grounding” is a total ban on cell phone and Internet use of any kind.
To enforce that, I’ve had her iPhone shut off and I’ve also turned off the Wi-Fi on our router.
The problem is she’s still finding a way to get on Facebook and talk to her friends because I can see her “liking” stuff and leaving comments. How is that possible?
She definitely isn’t using free Wi-Fi because the only place that offers it on our side of town is the local McDonalds and it’s too far away for her to get their signal.
I also know for a fact that she gets online while she’s still inside our house. I just can’t figure out how she’s doing it. Any ideas?
Rick’s answer: I can think of several possible ways your daughter might be getting online, Deidra:
1 – The most likely possibility is she’s piggybacking off of a neighbor’s unsecured Wi-Fi network. You can easily check to see if there is an open network available with your own smartphone (or laptop).
Just open the WiFi settings and take a peek at the available networks. If you see one that doesn’t have the little “lock” icon indicating that it’s secure that network is likely the culprit.
2 – The second-most likely possibility is one of your neighbors has willingly supplied your daughter with the access code (i.e. password) to their network so she can log in and use their WiFi connection.
3 – There’s also the possibility that she might be using a prepaid phone that you don’t even know she has access to.
4 – Yet another real possibility is she has borrowed a phone from one of her friends.
5 – And finally, there’s always the possibility that your daughter has found a way to access the Internet that neither you nor I have thought of. After all, kids are pretty tech savvy these days.
As you can see, there are multiple ways for someone to access the Internet with a device that doesn’t currently have an active cellular data connection.
I wish you and your family well, Deidra. Take care.