This time it’s Twitter. it would seem that there has been a ‘Glitch’ (their words) that showed un-encrypted passwords on their servers. Twitter claims that “We fixed the bug and have no indication of a breach or misuse by anyone…”. However, they also say that the passwords were exposed for several months. There seems to be no end this kind of thing. As a follow Twitterite tweeted today, “I wonder when the tide will turn’. Luckily I have never knowingly had a problem, as my previous job made more aware than the everyday user. Saying that though, I’m often told that I’m far too cautious sometimes. I have been known to delete genuine emails simply because they ‘look’ odd. It’s the same with phone calls. If I don’t know the number, then I usually don’t answer on the basis that, if it is important then they will either leave a voice-mail or call again.
I think I’m becoming the wristwatch battery guru. It started a couple of years ago when I had a watch that needed a new battery. It wasn’t a quality watch by any means, but it was comfortable to wear and had a sensor that lit-up the screen automatically if it was dark. It only cost me a couple of pounds when I bought it, so I was quite amazed when I was told that a replacement battery was going to be £4.95 fitted. I reluctantly paid but I was not happy about it. I then found a kit on the internet that had all the tools that I needed to replace batteries in any digital watch. I then found that I could get all the batteries I needed from one of the Pound Shops. So I was sorted! So now, when anyone needs a new battery in their watch, I’m the first ‘port-of-call’. Five replaced in the past three weeks.
I’ll give you a little background first. A few years ago, I got a call on my mobile. I didn’t know the number, but as I was expecting to hear from prospective employer, I answered. It turned out to be an automated call from someone who was ‘… sorry to hear about my accident, and would like to help with my compensation claim …’ There was no accident and therefore no claim. I naively complained to my provider who told me that it was probably a number harvester ie scammers who dial random numbers. If the number answer then they know it’s a live number they can sell. The advice was not answer calls where I did not know the number and that they would eventually stop. The reasoning behind this is that if the call is important, the caller would either leave a voice mail or call again. K*** doesn’t understand this. Her opinion is ‘ …why do you have a phone if you are not going to answer it …?’ I usually say that you don’t open the door if you cannot see who is knocking, to which she hesitantly agrees.
But back to the point of this moan. Last week, I had been in the supermarket, and as I was coming out, my phone rang. As per the norm, I did not know the number so did not answer. A few seconds later I got a ‘New Voice Mail’ message. Now here is where the fun starts. The message explained that they were West Yorkshire Police, and that they had ‘… received an emergency 999 call from my phone and did I still need attention …?’ I had not called the emergency number, and what had happened was that I must have touched tapped 112 (the alternative number) when I put my phone in my pocket at the start of my shopping. I was given a number to ring (101) if the call was not an emergency. This I tried and after about 15 minutes, I managed to get through. I apologised for accidentally calling 112 and the officer said that it happens sometimes, they even have a name for it, calling it ‘Pocket Dialling’ . She thanked me for letting them know.
So why the annoyance. Well that call to the 101 number does not come within the allowed number on my phone contract, because it is what is called a ‘short number’. So basically it cost me £0.51 in call charges to say sorry. However, if I had ignored the original message, I would not have had to pay. I did ask the officer what would have happened if I had not called to explain and she told me nothing … nothing at all. The call would close after a period of time, but nothing would happen.