Things I do get in my junk e-mail
Sometime late Thursday afternoon, I realized I had not received a single e-mail since early that morning.
Which is odd for me, because I’ve somehow managed to get myself on every mailing list under the sun, from clothing stores to a tire store to a variety of health websites, to a sporting goods store. Like my snail mail, most of it is non-personal junk mail.
But still, I missed the steady stream e-mail and began in my own, limited techie way to try to resolve the issue which, of course, I didn’t, because I’m not as techie as I like to think I am.
I finally got hold of my Internet provider, who informed me that my account had been “accessed by a third party,” which we techies refer to as “getting hacked,” and it was being used for “phishing,” or sending fraudulent e-mails to the unwary unsuspecting. So it deactivated my e-mail account.
So then I went through a long process of reactivating my account, which involved getting a temporary password that look like a cartoon cuss word from Beetle Bailey, all numbers, symbols and letters.
Once my account was reactivated, I was supposed to change my password to a permanent password that was even more “secure” than the temporary password, which already looked like gibberish. A strong password, the provider said, would contain numerals, symbols, letters (at least one lower case and one uppercase), and would not include the names, or variations of names, of my first name, my surname, family names, pet names, friends’ names, my address, my phone number, Social Security number, account numbers or any word that can be found in any dictionary; plus, it ought not to be a password already used for another account, such as Facebook.
At one time, I did incorporate the names of pets and family into my passwords because it helped me remember them. But I’ve gotten to the age where I don’t remember those names anymore, anyway.
I’m starting to remind myself of my mother, who would start a chastisement of me or my siblings by running down the names of all her children, nieces and nephews, siblings and the family dog before she finally got to the right one.
It made it hard to take her chastising seriously. (“Hey, guess what? Mom just called me ‘Skipper.’” “Why, did you piddle on the carpet?” Heehee).
Now I do the same thing, and more than once I’ve sent an apologetic prayer heavenward, where she now resides and can once again remember everything. I’m sure she’ll bring it all up when I get there.
I tried hard to come up with a password that was both unique and memorable, but that proved impossible, so I picked some random numbers, letter and symbols, which I wrote down on the back of an envelope. As long as I was at it, I changed all my other passwords, dutifully noting them on the envelope.
Then I worried about the envelope? What if someone steals it? What if Moses steals it? What if I accidentally throw it away? What if I accidentally shred it?
Maybe I should put it in a safety deposit box. Maybe I should rent a safety deposit box so I have a place to put my envelope, as well as all my other documents, wherever they may be at the moment.
This was all becoming worrisome, fretful, and stressful.
And all because I missed my daily dose of spam and junk e-mail.