Posted in Blogdramedy, Humor, News

If I Password Protect This Post, Is It Secret? Is It Safe?

I'd give you a piece of my heart but I can't remember the password.
I’d give you a piece of my heart but I can’t remember the password.

The thing we who use the Internet fear most, has finally happened. It’s name is Heartbleed. For the past two years, online security on websites most of us use every day has not been what it should have been. And that means there may be sites where you’re provided your credit card or other valuable information, and now that information is sitting out there, somewhere, waiting to be plucked. Like a goose.

Only it may be too late. This goose is cooked.

I’ve always been pretty good at making sure I only use passwords that make no sense to anyone. Sometimes that anyone is me. But I do try to take note of changes to my passwords and try not to make up a password using my Mother’s maiden name or base it on anything that’s familiar in my life. Except for that time when I got a really good deal on underwear. Buy two panties, get two free. For that website I used the password “free knickers” and as the term “knickers” is only used in Britain, I think I’m good. Of course, I know how your minds work so I’ll be changing that password as soon as this post is posted.

How far should you go to protect your online identity? It depends on how you use the Internet and how closely you want to guard your privacy. If you’re anything like me, you go as far as you can without driving your partner completely insane.

When my Mister told me about Heartbleed, my mind went [blank] for what felt like a lifetime as my brain started to process all the website I’ve signed up to or given private information to over the past two years. But I quickly calmed down when I realized there were actually only a few sites that had credit card information and that I’d had very few purchases on record over the last two years.

I still went and changed my passwords on those accounts along with my Gmail email and all my banking information.

But then I thought…did I change my passwords too soon? Should I have waited for a news report saying that Heartbleed was no longer a threat? That the bleeding had stopped and the sutures were holding tight? Because maybe this is all a hoax and the hackers want us to drop what we’re doing and change our passwords so they had fresh new information to work with?

Wait while I scratch the hives that just appeared after properly processing that thought.

Is there anyone else out there who feels that our Internet security should not be solely in the hands of four programmers who live in Wales? That perhaps companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and any other online retailer who uses OpenSSL should have opened up their wallets long ago and either paid for more support, or joined in together to fund the development of a new form of online security coding?

Everyone who uses the Internet and who expects to process transactions in a secure environment should be willing to drop a couple of bucks into the pot. I know I would and so should we all. We can’t keep expecting someone else to cover our asses. It’s our ass.

We should be the ones to decide if we want to protect our privacy with thongs or granny panties.

From now on, when I’m online, I’ll be wearing my old lady underwear. And that includes now. And yes, they are white, cotton, and lace-free.

(Author’s Note: I’m currently in south Georgia and today the Mister and I are going on a swamp tour. If I survive the alligators and biting bugs, I’ll reply to comments late in the day. Now get voting!)

 

 

 

 

 

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Author:

Blogdramedy is a recovering communications specialist who now spends her days helping non-profits communicate effectively. They rarely listen to her advice. When she's not doing that, she writes Upside of Sideways and is a field reporter for The Nudge Wink Report -- both on WordPress. https://upsidesideways.wordpress.com https://nudgewinkreport.wordpress.com

25 thoughts on “If I Password Protect This Post, Is It Secret? Is It Safe?

    1. “We understand. We’re happy to accept your credit card information when you place your order by phone.” They then plug your information into the exact same website. I know. I’ve been in this industry since 2000. This is known as “ecommerce trust by proxy.” And, either way, the same minimum wage employee has access to all of it. You’re welcome! 🙂

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    2. I do online payments but I never allow sites to remember any of my information. With what happened at Target, etc. buying at a store is also dicey.

      Maybe we should do away with currency all together. Bitcoin anyone? *grin*

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  1. I would think that everyone would pick the 1st answer in the poll whether they did change it or not. Anything else would be putting yourself smack at the top of the list for an easy peasy hack. Being homeless, unemployed and broke is the only safe way to go.

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  2. Again, for those who haven’t been keeping score: All human systems are gamed. All. A-L-L. From the stock market to the twiddly winks club to the Tour de France to MLB.

    My personal theory is analogous to the tip of an iceberg. The exploits we’ve heard about only represent a tiny fraction of what’s really going on out there. Somewhere, in my parent’s basement, is a super clever kid who is smart enough to not tell a single soul about the exploits he has discovered. And he’s been using them for years. He’s the most powerful life form in the galaxy.

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  3. I just changed all of mine last month. It may have been too soon. Our credit card got hacked last month and we have a new one anyway. Credit card companies have amazing insurance so I’m not that worried. The real problem is when hackers get social security numbers. Then they become posers….I don’t want any other Susie Lindaus running around!!!

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  4. So you’re going from bleeding heart to alligators? Alligators sound preferable. Your blog post on this is funnier than mine. Just spent Saturday tightening up security around here, and am not ready to joke about it. I mean yeah, we could use some help here. Are you listening Google?

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  5. Passwords are such a nightmare. I keep forgetting mine and I’m not even old enough to use age as an excuse. Silver linings for half a century down the line, hey? 😉

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  6. I haven’t done any password updating. I’m paralyzed with feelings of clueless stupidity. What am I supposed to do. For the love of God, WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO???

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