Monday, September 30, 2013

Security Stupidity

We see the ads constantly for LifeLock, Norton, and the others. Secure your computer, your data.

Yeah, yeah.  I don't have anything of value. If somebody comes in and steals my identity, maybe they can make a better go of it than I have.


I sat down to my computer at 10pm on Tuesday night.  Surprise!  I got an email from China stating that my purchase had been declined and I should re-attempt it.  HUH?  The next email was form PayPal stating that the payment had been made. WHAT?  Next email was from the person in China again, but this time it was a thank you for my purchase.  WTF??

Not using any of the links in the emails, I opened a new browser window and checked my PayPal account. As expected, the balance was zero, just as it was suppose to be BUT there was a payment made only about 30 minutes earlier -- and to China.  It wasn't a huge sum but a tidy sum and more than I had in my bank account.

OMG!  PayPal had taken the money to pay this person from my checking account and now I was over-drafted.  Not good.  Not good, at all.

A panic call to PayPal and the worst nightmare was confirmed.  My money was in China.

After a lengthy discussion with an agent I was passed to a security person at PayPal.  First step - change my password.  Done!

Now I am patiently waiting the outcome of this endeavor.  I have claimed it to be an unauthorized purchase.  PayPal will validate my claim.  We wait.

Bottom line.  Change your passwords at least every 90 days.  I'd let my password for PayPal remain the same since I joined ... oh so many years ago.  Plus, my email password was the same as the day I set it up back in the early 90s.

I always assumed I didn't have anything anyone would want and jokingly would say "I ain't got nothing and they're welcome to it."  Well, somebody obviously took me up on my offer and took it.

Today I went to the bank, bright and early, to start the process there.  Not much to do but hang in there.  Came home and spent a lot of time going through my files to see what passwords I should change.  At first my thought was "just the important ones" but then realized, even the lesser ones have stuff to sell and whoever had my password, could use it to purchase something.  So I'm changing passwords where I can remember them.

That's the horror about passwords.  You're not suppose to use the same password for every place.  Really? I go to 73 locations -- I need 73 different passwords and remember who has which one?

Obviously somebody got into my computer and retrieved my passwords.  I have now removed my passwords, changed them, and no longer let my computer save the passwords for me.  HACKERS!!

I may just have to be more discreet on which sites I sign up for and need a password to access.

The above is just a word to the wise...

Until next I ramble on...

1 comment:

  1. What a nightmare for you! My friend, the financial planner advised me to use a program that generates secure passwords and there is a program for storing them. Good advice. As for Life Lock, What happens if someone hacks them?