Computers Are Beautiful, Banks Are Beautiful, Computer Criminals Are Ugly

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I love the computer age, but hate the criminals who use hacking techniques to harass or steal. It seems to me that they  lack even the honor of a common  street criminal becausethey attack in secret from afar, never revealing their whereabouts. They use the technology that could unite the human race against the unsuspecting innocents.

I ran into some this morning just as I was preparing to post another few thoughts about beauty. But my happy task was interrupted by a strong baritone voice coming from a news site that I frequent, telling me that my computer had been taken over and all my passwords had been copied. I quickly turned off the computer, knowing that it’s best to never obey their instructions.

Once it was off and my heart rate went down to near normal, I called my bank to ask what to do next. At that moment, my money seemed much more important than my privacy in emails, journals, blogs, or news sites. They explained this was a phishing scheme, but the criminals could not get my information unless I engaged them in conversation.

Someone in the bank’s fraud department told me how to use my phone as a two step authentication, like WordPress. For now, that provides better protection than the password and secret questions I had been using to access my accounts.  And they promised to double check for suspicious activity the next few days. So now, I’m back to a new normal, slightly nervous, but ready to venture into the cyber-world again.  And hoping the good programmers can continue to stay a step or two ahead of the bad guys.

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