my ex/stalker says he pinged my laptop and is getting info how can I protect myself?

how can I protect my computer from others (exes) who pinged  it and are getting my information? can they also tell what emails have been sent since he pinged my laptop?
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Pinging your laptop is the process of sending one packet (Which is the alphabet backwards and forwards, incidentally) to your IP address and looking for a result.  All he gets is a response that says your IP address has a device receiving and transmitting data.

The question is how are you connected to the internet?  If you are behind a router or firewall the chances of him getting anything are small (HE sounds like a jerk who is just messing with you, incidentally).  If you are connected directly to the internet, you want to turn Windows Firewall on at least, which will probably limit access to your machine as much as you need.

Good points though:

1. Practice good password security, at least eight character, six letters and two numbers, better with symbols.  p455w@rd for example
2.  Use a router or firewall wherever possible, avoid writing your password on a post it note and sticking it to your monitor.

Are you connected directly to the internet?  (Directly to a cable modem or DSL modem) or are you on a network?
matthewrhoades made some good points.

You can see for yourself what a ping does by going to Start > Run > and type CMD and press enter.

Once the command prompt comes up type:

You'll see exactly what a ping does, and that should prove to you that he's blowing smoke.
exmarinegirlAuthor Commented:
Does that make him capable of knowing(maybe with added software) who my messgs are being sent to and if they're from my computer?
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What do you use for email?
It depends on how the data is being transmitted from your computer.  If you are using an unsecured unencrypted wireless network or a generally unencrypted network your information and be intercepted with a packet sniffer or a number of other utilities.

The question is one of whether or not your ex has such abilities.  Not likely.
Well it also depends on whether the emails are being sent encrypted via https gmail for example.  If so even grabbing the packets would be useless.  But you are probably right.  This is probably a little over the abilities of this individual.
Could be, but you raise a good point to.  The key is to never underestimate the power of a motivated stalker.  Just when you think he is reading your emails he is busy in your closet stealing your socks.

The bottom line is to avoid mediums of communication that can be monitored if you suspect that your security is compromised.  
just change the password on your user accounts and there is no access period.
for the average joe I mean
Ok let me see if I can explain how this works:

1. If you do not have a wireless connection you are fine.  A person would have to get connected in between you and your provider to grab any data.  If that was the case, stalking charges would be the least of this guy's worries if he got caught.

2. With a wireless connection the person would have to do the following:  
  a. Connect to your wireless network, requiring them to be in range of your router.
  b. Intercept the traffic
  c. Decrypt any encryped information

The big thing is 2a.  The guy would have to be close to grab info before it hits your modem and fires off to the internet.  

But that's just for a man in the middle attack.  The easiest way is to simply login as you and grab the emails up that way.  Reset your password (just in case) and change your password reset questions in case he knows those answers.  Like "What high school did you attend?"  After that you should be fine.
And hide the socks.
More info!

Ok so when you send an email it goes from point A to point D.  However it passes through a few other places on it's way there.  We'll call them points B and C.  For a person to grab that email while it's being sent they have to fool your computer into sending it to their computer and not points B or C.  For them to do that they would need to jump in line the way I described above.  

If they are at their home, or anywhere more than 100 feet or so from your house this is virtually impossible, even for experienced hackers.

If the email is not being sent and is simply being stored on a server, like your gmail, the person would need to hack into google's servers to get that info.  Also fairly difficult.

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If your using email such as yahoo or gmail there is no way unless he has those passwords. The trans mission is encrypted eventhough your wireless may be encrypted.
If your using email such as yahoo or gmail there is no way unless he has those passwords. The trans mission is encrypted eventhough your wireless may be ((unencrypted.))
exmarinegirlAuthor Commented:
He is quite computer savvy- so that is my concern- the major one being that he may have had access previously and installed keystroke reading software. i have changed all passcodes. is there a way for me to find if this software was installed and active on my laptop?
Most antivirus software should pick up nearly all keyloggers.  I would download and run Spybot just in case as well, it picks up a ton of them.
I know an answer has already been excepted but if you turn on your firewall you cant be pinged.
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