In London we've had violent thunderstorms this afternoon, and I thought a reminder might be in order.
Lightning can wreck your modem and computer, and during a storm it's a good idea to unplug both of them. Many of you will use anti-surge devices, but don't be lulled into a false sense of security. These devices are good, but not good enough to guarantee protection against a nearby lightning strike. Take a rest from computing until the storms have passed.
whether internal or external, USB or PCI, are connected directly to the phone line, and are therefore vulnerable in a thunderstorm. Some Anti-surge devices have a socket for a modem and phone connection, and although there's a good measure of protection when you use these devices it's wise to play safe when lightning's about.
Each year we get a few threads from people who have had their modem and/or motherboard fried in a storm.