Posts Tagged ‘security’

My New Password

Posted: 15/02/2010 by Toby in Informative


Last Friday was an historic day. It was the day I changed my password for my hotmail address. I also then went to my gmail and yahoo addresses with the same password.

So why is a password change so historic?

I had not changed my hotmail password since I created the account in 1998 11 1/2 years ago.

I know what you’re thinking: Why now? Why not wait another 20 years or until msn finally gives up and retreats into oblivion? The answer is simple, and yet mortifying. I was phished. Not exactly phished, more like duped.

You know how the only time you get a speeding ticket are the times when you’re totally zoned out or in a hurry or focused on something else completely, and all of a sudden you see flashing lights behind you (in America)? Well it was sorta like that.

I was doing some searching around in Google Maps to try to discover all its capabilities, as part of a new project to do with google maps and APIs and all that craziness, which I’ve never done before, but it must be doable, there’s tons of them out there. Well, I’m spending some time trying to get stuff to show up on google maps from My Maps which I have made public, and I’m getting all these random user generated results… one of which is a totally ridiculous looking “stop crime sign up here” thing, and I can’t believe the stupidity, what was I thinking? I put in my real email AND password.

Needless to say the next morning I had 30 emails in my hotmail inbox which were undeliverable, and one or two that were “dude wtf??” from people who had gotten emails from me, and were actually still using those email accounts. I looked in my sent items and whoever it was had sent a spam email to approximately the A through C section of my email addresses. I hope not more. I had to change my password pronto, and I decided for the sake of consistency I would make all my email passwords the same and for the sake of easy and more critical to remember. The good news is that most of the other logons I use are different passwords for different scenarios, and not many actually use my former email password. Not that I think that whoever it is would be able to connect the dots and find my other accounts.

I think my life must be one of constantly doing silly things. I can honestly say though, I’m pretty sure this is the first mistake of this type I’ve made in all the time I’ve been surfing the net.

So, um, if you got any strange emails from me in the last week or so, let me say now, sorry, that wasn’t me, unless they were emails asking you to wire money to my account… well, no those weren’t me either.