Faithful readers of my blog will recall that my wallet was stolen from church on Election Day. For more recent perusers: my wallet was stolen from church on Election Day. It was my first such experience, and I felt angry and violated. The thief had taken, along with my measly supply of cash, driver’s license and a cache of credit cards/super saver club cards, my trust in humanity. Plus a business card from a restaurant our mission team went to in Guatemala last summer. How am I supposed to replace that?
But life went on. I purchased a new wallet and got a new license. Gradually my faith in mankind was restored. Surely this was a blip, an aberration, right? Most folks are honest as the day is long (I guess that means they are honest 10-12 hours a day, a bit more during daylight savings time). While I was now much more cautious about leaving my purse lying around, I had let my guard down in other arenas.
Now I will freely admit: I am a computer password disaster. As I fear that someday my survival will hinge on my reliably remembering my children’s ages, so I know that multiple passwords would never work for me. When I entered the wacky world of the internet, I decided to pick one catchphrase and stick with it (just what the experts tell you NOT to do). My clever little saying got me open sesame to my yahoo account, my gmail account, Facebook. Since I typed it multiple times a day, there was no chance of forgetting, and thus being unable to access my treasure trove of info. Oh, I had heard of hackers. But I imagined they were big-time criminals, bent on cracking Ashton Kutcher’s code. Who’d want to read my emails to the Confirmation class, my Living Social daily specials, my ho-hum FB postings? Heck, I can barely maintain interest in my own online doings!
The first time I noticed something was amiss, a few of my Facebook friends accepted my friend request once again. Hmmm, hadn’t they BEEN my friends for quite awhile? Then came the messages: people in my circle were being contacted on IM, by someone pretending to be me. Someone asking for money. I checked Facebook and I saw: there was a duplicate Elise Seyfried page, down to the last detail. The dastardly deed doer had copied my online identity and was trolling for cash! With shaking hands I reported him/her to Facebook as an impostor, and quickly changed my password to something with, I think, some capital letters and numbers mixed together (I’d better double check that). What had this person seen? That really unflattering photo from Christmas on which I’d been “tagged”? My “humorous” quip about the weather? When I calmed down, I realized that not much damage had been done, thankfully.
All is secure now.
Still, it has rendered me doubtful and suspicious once again, and I hate that feeling.
Curse you, hacker!