It’s beginning to get a little annoying now. This morning I got the second spoof email purporting to come from PayPal. Yesterdays was quite convincing if it had not been for the two spelling mistakes. A casual reader may not have spotted ‘bellow’ instead of ‘below’ and ‘passwurd’ instead of password. Inviting me to click on the link ‘bellow’ to cancel the payment and change my ‘passwurd as a precaution. They had managed to get my email right, but did not include the usual checks that PayPal have in place. Todays was just an obvious spoof. Easily spotted by the way it was addressed “Dear (insert username here)‘” at the beginning of the email text
Now after working in an IT scenario for a number of years, I’ve become quite adept at spotting when an email looks wrong, but many people would have believed the first one. I have heard of people clicking these types of links and getting their personal payment details stolen.
Of course I report these kind of phishing emails, but I’m not sure anything gets done. I usually get an email back, a day or so later thanking me for reporting them and advising me to check my account an change my password. I add the address to my blocked list but the next time it will come from a different address. K*** gets many emails that look like they have come from AT&T that are fake. Usually start with “ATTCustomerCare@”, but then the next part of the address is so obviously false. Again, I have reported these to AT&T, but they don’t even respond. All a little annoying.
Update – I have just had a reply about the second spoof email. Even though there was over 100 intended recipients and even though the email was addressed badly, PayPal have deemed it not the be fraudulent. I have asked them to take another look.
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, and you may be wondering why. You may not even have given it a second thought, but that’s another subject for another post. So why no post? Well, at the beginning of the year, I promised myself that my blog was going to contain less ranting. I feel that my last couple of missives were successful in the ‘less ranting’ format, and therein lies the problem. If I’m not having a rant, then what do I have to say?
Mrs H has been having a rare old time looking at her personal finances. Three weeks ago, she got a letter about some share scheme she had paid into that was about to mature. It wasn’t a large amount, but it got her thinking about other schemes she had paid over the years. One of the things that she wondered about was the pension contributions she had made whilst working in the Health service. After a lot of digging around and a very stressful few hours on the phone and internet, it seems that she is entitled to a small monthly sum and a small lump sum. Rant Alert…rant alert … the amount of phone calls and the stress involved in trying to get this small amount of due money would have driven me over the edge … register here … activate this … create this password here … login here … wrong password … wrong login … wrong activation code … etc. In all honesty, I think I would have given in. I would have given in with quite a few swear words and a lot of alcohol intake. But at the end of the day she got it sorted. Well sorted for that particular job anyway. I suspect there is more to come!
I was now going to to talk about today. Or to be more specific, what today is! But in the spirit of ‘less ranting’ I have taken the decision to not mention St Valentines Day. Or, what it has become known as Valentines Day/Night/Week. I’m struggling here, not to get worked up about how we in Britain celebrate the execution of a Roman Bishop, by giving our nearest and dearest flowers, wine and chocolates! It is even more poignant this year, as the aforementioned day falls on the same day as Ash Wednesday (or the start of lent for those who didn’t know.) I wonder if, when ‘Brexit’ happens, that these old ‘European’ festivals will be abolished? One can only hope.
Well that’s it for tonight. Hope you liked this post, and you know what I’d like you to do if you did. Any comments are welcomed.
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.
I have been trying for some time to get Open Live Writer (OLW) to work properly with Google Blogger. I could actually connect and post, but one of the best features of OLW is the facility to download the blog theme. This enables you preview your post in draft mode, before you finally upload to Blogger. I use this with my WordPress Blog (unashamed plug there) and it worked without any issue. However I simply could not get OLW to download the relevant files. I tried raising the issue with the OLW forum, but that did not help. The answer came in an unorthodox way!
I had a problem with my Google account password. Somehow it needed to be reset. I managed to reset to a new password, but then found a problem with Outlook 365. I was now unable to connect Outlook to my Gmail. Every time I tried to enter the new password, it failed. No passwords, old or new were being accepted. I tried removing my Gmail account and re-adding it, without success. I began the process of adding Gmail to my Outlook.com. It took a Google search to find out the issue. It seems, that back in 2014 Google started to block, what it considered to be unsecure logins. This was the problem and I needed to amend a security setting. I needed to “Allow less secure apps” to be ‘ON’. Problem with Gmail/Outlook sorted. The relief was massive. I really did not want to have to use Outlook.com as my main email client for many reasons.
It then struck me! “Hmmm,” I thought. “I wonder if that is the problem with downloading the theme for Blogger?” It seems that it was. So there we are. All sorted.
As I expected, it turned out to be quite a busy day. I got most of the work done, but there are still a few bits left over. I cannot seem to get any enthusiasm for the renewals. I’ve done about 75% of the work, but ………
I started the new book. It’s a biog of Eleanor Of Aquitaine. I may have mentioned this book before. The only thing I don’t like about biographies, are endnotes. I can put up with footnotes (except when they point to an endnote) and time lines. However I get annoyed when I have to wade through 9 or 10 pages at the back of a book, only to find that the endnote refers you to an obscure book that is only available in some library somewhere. fortunately, this book does not seem to have either type of note. Mind you I have only read the preface and prologue, but the outlook is good.
Talking of Outlook, I’m beginning to get my head round it a little. I got the tutorial that I wanted, but I’ve not really had time to read through it yet. I also got a couple for Outlook 2003, for when we change over at work. That is all supposed to start next month. It would appear, that it is going to happen, building by building. Ah …… fun will be had by all !!! I did manage to get G*** on the ‘Super User’ list, so the City team (who had been forgotten !) will have some support.
The youngest has been worse than usual today. He was fine when he went to sleep last night, but from what Mrs H says, he’s not been good most of the day. It did not help, when we had a power outage, and his computer and TV went off. Then it took a good 10 minutes before my PC was up and running, and to cap it all, no-one knew my password. Mrs H had to call me at work, and of course I was not at my desk, so that did not help. Still she knows it now. He seem to have calmed down now (thank God for Calpol). I tried using some lavender oil on a pad. Just stroked his forehead and the soles of his feet with it. Don’t know if it helped. We will see what tomorrow brings.
So here’s the thing. He says he is going into town to get his tattoo finished. How long we ask. I don’t know he replies and off he goes. One and a half hours later, he’s ringing up. Can Dad pick me up. What time we ask. Don’t know he says. You must have some idea we say. Well we are starting again at 10:30 (pm that is). Well how long will it take (bearing in mind that his last bus is 10:50) I don’t know he says. I’ll crash at R**’s. Nooooo way. So now I’ll ring him at 11:00 and take it from there. Kids.
Then there’s the bank. You enter your login, unique customer number, password and then the bl***y thing falls over when you enter the answer to your security question. ‘There is a problem…………please ring 08456*****’. So I ring and am told that ‘someone has attempted to log into my account’……’yes … me!!!!’ I’m all for security, but it can go over the top sometimes. All you need is a gadget that creates a unique number. The council has then, why can’t the banks.
Then what …… Internet goes down. Well not actually stops, but get so slow as to be practically useless. Worse than ‘dial-up’. All working now though.