I made a cup of tea and settled into my comfy computer chair. I clicked on the icon for my Gmail and was told:
No – that password wouldn’t work.
Would I like to fix it through a message to my Yahoo email?
Nope – that password wasn’t recognized
I checked my email by way of my phone. A recovery code was indeed on my Yahoo account.
I tried to enter it into the Gmail request. No soap.
I checked my email through my phone again. Now a different recovery code had been sent. Someone else was trying to get into my mail.
Why anyone would have a burning need to open sales reminders from L.L.Bean, Lands End, Kohls, and all the other messages I delete three times a day is beyond me. My email is resoundingly dull. Still, the whole thing creeped me out big time.
I packed up my violated laptop and hightailed it to our computer geeks. I arrived ten minutes before business hours, but if people are going to put an Open sign on their door, I’m going in.
One of the owners immediately took me in hand (I’m sure my hyperventilating had nothing to do with that) and began walking me through my passwords, all of which apparently were too short and too obvious. She didn’t quite roll her eyes and sigh audibly, but “another dumb civilian” might as well have been Magic Markered across her forehead.
After facing the spectre of no access to either email or this blog, I have seen the light. Check your passwords, folks. There are computers out there right now twirling and beeping away in their efforts to get into our accounts.
Go to How Secure is My Password? and you’ll become a convert. Passwords I thought were ingenious and inscrutable were basically the work of a not very bright pre-schooler.
As for me, I now have some fabulous passwords that supposedly will hold up against attack for thousands of years. Since there’s no way on the planet that I’ll remember any of them, I’ve cleverly written them down in a list that I keep near my computer.
Don’t tell me I don’t know anything about security.