I am writing a book. Being in good command of the language, I use many words not normally encountered elsewhere. Lately I have been concerned as more and more of these words--too many of them to be a mere coincidence--are turning up in my spam!
I am using Windows XP (SP2)--with TWO Ad blockers installed (File sharing OFF) and yet somebody out there appears to be reading my files.
I can't comment on whether someone is reading your files, but if you are concerned about the safety of your future book then may I suggest that you store it on discs or cds which you only insert into your computer when necessary.
You could also store the manuscript in an encrypted form so that nobody could read it without the password. There are many programs available which would permit you to do this.
If you have an up to date AV and any firewall you will be protected. It is highly unlikely that anyone has 'hacked' into a home computer and I have yet to see proof that a home computer has had files taken and read...thi sincludes passwords. If someone really wanted to get into a home computer no firewall would stop them and I speak as someone who does not use any firewall. If the North American Missile Defence System, BT and barclays can be hacked, a firewall will be as much use as a chocolate teapot. I think that you may be imagining this. You have enough 'protection' so I would not worry one whit.
You do not need to check your firewall, it is adequate. In any case there are several programmes (TooLeakey being one that even barrow-boy Gibson grudgingly admits to) that will by-pass any firewall. A few interesting observations about Paranoia Gibson....click here