I’m trying to login to MY account on the Gov.UK website. I need some information about MY state pension. However, I am hampered at the end stage by bureaucratic nonsense. I have entered my full name and address, date of birth and National Insurance number. I have also entered the ‘one-time’ password from the Authenticator app on my phone. You would assume that all that information would be sufficient. But that’s not the case. They need more information, to prove who I am! This is the next screen that appears. Problem! 1. I do not have a ‘valid UK passport’ as I’m am not going abroad at the moment, and really have no intention of going in the near future. 2. Why would I need a Northern Ireland driving licence?
So it seems, from this that I am ‘persona non-grata’. Why, as a lifelong citizen of this so called ‘free country’ do I need a passport to live here. Not a ‘happy chappie’ at the moment.
has not been working as I expected. Visitors were being asked to login to their Google account to be able to view the site. I quite understand that some may not like the idea of a Google account and many simply do not have one. After a little bit of searching (Googling!) I discovered that I had failed to make the site public and that it was restricted to Google account holders only. I think this is now rectified, and anyone should be able to view the site.
Apologies if anyone has tried and have not been able have a look.
Turned on the laptop yesterday morning to see a ‘Notification’ that there was a “Microsoft account problem. We need to fix your Microsoft account. (Most likely your password changed). select here to fix it in shared experiences settings” Now, I don’t know about you, but when I get a message that say “Click Here“, clicking on that message is not something I would rush to do. Google came up with nothing, but the techy site I use explained that it was a genuine notification from Microsoft that there was a small issue which was easily fixed.
Well, the notification was now consigned to history and I had to follow some advice to fix the problem. What apparently had happened was that a recent security update had corrupted access to Microsoft Rewards program from within the settings app on the computer. This meant that I needed to update/change my Microsoft Account password. That all went quite well, but it meant that any application on either my laptop, phone or iPad that accessed my account, needed the password changing. A bit of a balla**e but I manged to get everything sorted by then end of the day.
Fast forward to this morning. I needed to access an Excel spreadsheet, so I clicked on the icon on my iPad (laptop not on at the time) and was greeted with a message informing me that my OneDrive couldn’t connect to the server. I needed my password or I could use the Authenticator app on my phone which was the most obvious choice. Not so! The iPad crashed and needed a reboot. That’s when it all went wrong. I have a passcode on my iPad which I use rather than use my finger print. No reason why except that I can remember certain number sequences. Not this time though.
After a few attempts with the passcode, the iPad became locked. Google came to the rescue this time with full instructions on how to reset the iPad to factory setting and restore from a back-up. This didn’t work and I was left scratching my head. After about an 1/2 hour I suddenly realised what I had done. I had entered an incorrect passcode. I was trying to use the code that I use for my banking app. I tapped in the correct passcode as if by magic, the iPad opened correctly. First job, get rid of the bloody passcode. Later today I will add a fingerprint as a lock.
There have been another couple of “tech” problems, but I think you have suffered enough for now.
So, the saga continues. We decided to call the ‘Customer Service’ number to explain the issue. Surprisingly, Mrs Me gets through within 2 minutes. She explained the problem in detail and the first response was “Try turning the IHD off then on again” (IHD apparently refers to the monitor as In Home Display). We explain that we have done this on a number of occasions with no effect. We were the told that our call was being passed on to an engineer who could advise us further.
10 minutes pass, listening to a varied choice of music …
Another 10 minutes …
Then the call was dropped. This was expected. I’m a little annoyed now so I have a look on the company website for an email address to write to. It was then I noticed that they had a ‘Live Chat’ messaging service. Okay, here goes nothing. Within a few seconds I’m ‘chatting’ to someone with a name I cannot remember. The problem was explained and the same response as before was given. I was then asked of I could sent a picture of the IHD. So I attached the one I posted on here and was told that the details would be passed on to an engineer. I was also told that I needed to send another picture in 30 minutes time as validation, which left me quite bemused.
Exactly 30 minutes later, I took another photograph and dropped into the message service. Of course, this was picked up by someone completely different (I think!) and the whole issue was explained again. The operator paused the conversation while they spoke to someone else. Meanwhile I was checking emails and the like but kept flicking back to the company website to see what was happening … nothing. Conversation still paused. Then, without any warning, I was logged out of the account, due to inactivity. You can probably guess how I was feeling! Mrs Me told me to leave it and she would get back in touch later, which was probably the best idea.
We then got an email telling us that there was a ‘new message’. The message basically explained that the new IHD units were having problems and that the engineers know about it as a number of people had raised the issue and it was being looked into. Why they couldn’t have explained this in the first place, I will never understand. So now we wait. All my doubts about so called ‘smart meters’ were beginning to become realistic.
A bit of an update on yesterdays ‘scary’ moment post. I noticed, this morning, a news item on my WordPress dashboard, advertising a WordPress event in Leeds. It would seem that there is a local WP group that meets up quite regularly. It is not likely that I would attend, but I thought it would be good to find out a little more, as I had no idea that this kind of thing existed in the UK.
So to get at the main details etc, I had to join up with an organisation called ‘meetup.com’. Sounded reasonable, so I went ahead and started to fill in the required email, username and password. I scrolled to the bottom of the screen, looking for the ‘next’ button when I spotted one of those Google location markers. To my surprise my location was described as “Huddersfield”. The Google alert claimed that the login attempt was from a PC in the Huddersfield area. A bit of a coincidence!
Now, here’s what I think has happened. The bathroom fitters had to turn off the electric for a while, which of course turned off the internet router. When the power was restored my PC tried to log me back into my Google account, and it failed a couple of times. When It did finally log me in, I then got the notification of the ‘Account Alert’ So it seems (don’t quote me on this) that the perceived hacking attempt, was actually me. Somehow, something was indicating the my laptop was in Huddersfield. Very bizarre indeed as it has never been to Huddersfield.
At the end of the day, I was probably safe, but it did shake me up a little and made more determined to review my password management.
Sat here, just creating an Excel spreadsheet for the eldest, when a “Google Account Alert” suddenly popped up on my screen. I quickly investigated and it seems that someone had tried to login to my Google account from a device that Google didn’t recognise as one of mine. This was very strange as the location of the device (a PC) was in the Huddersfield area. Now I would have thought, that if this was a serious hacking attempt, that they would have ‘cloaked’ their location which would have shown as ‘Location unknown’ but I may be wrong. Of course, a bit of panicking set in and I ran through all my sites that use the same password and changed them.
I really must revisit all my passwords and make the more secure. I often use the same password on different sites. As a former ‘IT’ person, I should know better.
For the second time this year, I have taken the drastic step to ‘deactivate’ my Facebook account. I can hear it now … ’you’ve done what?’ …… ‘why did you do that?’ …… ‘are you mad?’ and many other statements from people who are shocked at my decision. It is a decision not taken lightly, I can assure you. It took me all of ten minutes. To be honest, Facebook has become, for me, too unusable. Gone are the days when when my ‘timeline’ (what a stupid word) was all in the order that people posted their ‘status’s. Now everything is mixed up and it has become far too confusing.
Then, there are the stupid game requests! As soon as you block one, then someone else sends another. I don’t play Facebook games. I even had it on my ‘about’ page, but nobody took any notice. Then there are the messages !! What can I say? If you want to talk to me, then use the phone!!!!! If you have not got my number, email me!!
So for now, I will stick with Twitter and LinkedIn ….. I do not need the rubbish that Facebook has become.
Here endeth the ‘Rant Of The Day’ thank you for your understanding.
When I say packaging, I mean excess packaging. Let me give you an example. Two weeks ago, Mrs H needed to buy some baked beans. We have to get a branded type, as R*** will only eat a certain brand. As this is his mainstay food source, we tend to go through a lots of baked beans. So we usually look for multi-packs or special offers. The ‘Buy 2 – Get 1 Free’ type of offers. Now where I have a problem, is the multi-pack system. Why is there a need to wrap the four/six tins in a sheet of polythene? Can the store not say something like “Six tins for the price of 4”, instead of wrapping six tins and making ‘2 Free"’ on the packaging? Or just mark it up on the shelf, say One tin = 51p, Four tins £1.94? I’m sure the customers are not so stupid as not to able to work out which is cheapest! It would save on the need for the polythene wrapper, which in my experience is not usually recyclable. I did ask the manager at one store why they wrapped multi-packs, and was told “It is to make it easier for the customer pick up!” i will leave you to your own opinions on that statement
I recently had a problem with Twitter. For the past three months I have been using an app, on my smartphone to send multiple tweets using the extremely popular #FF or #FollowFriday hash tags. The app quite simply pulls up a list of all the people that follow you, and the app then tweets a message followed by #FF, to all in that list. Well, as I mentioned, I have been doing this regularly for the past three months, without any problems at all. Then on this Friday past, I used the app as usual. When I came to login at home, I found that my account had been suspended! I quickly emailed Twitter support, and was told that “I had abused the @reply system, by sending large amounts of unsolicited messages.” The account was then ‘unsuspended’ and, after a few hours, I could carry on as normal. They really annoying thing was that the support call was closed, and I was unable to explain what had happened. I am now considering my options with Twitter. I enjoy using it, and enjoy the connections I have made using it, but if it is starting to get more restrictive, then it may have to go.