Virtually all broadband ISPs can get into their equipment that you lease from them, modem, router, or whatever interface device of theirs you have at home or work. Should you worry? That depends a on who you are and how much illegal activity you do online. If you aren't pirating music, movies, or software and you aren't trying to hack your way into places you don't belong you needn't worry. Your computer(s) should all have firewalls in them that protect them and mostly keep out nefarious actors.
If you choose to worry you can turn your computers off when not using them or even turn off your modem/router and totally keep everything offline.
I was on the phone with an AT&T tech who decided that my U-verse modem should be upgraded. It arrived and I installed it. I had a small problem changing the Wi-Fi log-ins and called tech support to resolve it. The tech offered to look at my settings to tell me how to change them. She was able, with nothing other than my verbal permission, to view the modem settings and I believe could have changed them. Of course, she said, she would NEVER change anything without permission. But that's only a policy; they could decide they NEED to change my settings or their system could be hacked and in either case, my network is open. If they can do this, do they also have the ability to gather other information? My question, then, is: should I worry about their access and is there a way to block or prevent their access? What does the community think?
--Submitted by Bob R.