Sunday, April 13, 2014

Technology, paranoia or

How I can totally mess up my life all by myself.

Now I don’t consider myself without some computer skills: in fact there was a point in time where I believed myself to be the only person capable in all of Switzerland of printing out a sheet of addresses with the bottom of the page filled as well.

Still, I just as often forget how our lives have been changed (improved is debatable although I absolutely LOVE being able to skype with distant family and friends and enjoy keeping up with those even-more-distant cousins, kissing cousins and assorted friends and acquaintances who do not live next door on Facebook).

Every once in awhile I get on a “let’s take my life out of the path of the hackers, phishers, scammers etc.”  Now if for a while things are cleaner in my computer it always causes chaos – why can’t I seem to remember and prepare for this?

So yesterday, in what I can only label as a fit of stupidity, having read (ad nauseum) any and all articles about Heart Bleed then reading another article in of my favorite women’s magazines about web security I decided to change the settings on my browser…

Now I’ve done this before and usually just have to remember (out of the meanderings of my brain) various passwords, etc. and that usually only takes less than a half-hour.

However, and it’s a big one, I had obviously not done this in the past year: if my most used sites were no problem (I had emptied the cache and taken out all but a handful of cookies: how did I miss leaving the one for my blog?), my blog had disappeared.

Two hours later and I had managed to “find” it again, but it was a very intense two hours, during which I discovered that I have at least one other Google account and probably a third as well.  At 9 p.m. I did consider ditching the one that wasn’t used… but thought better of it as who knows whether or not it is linked to the account through which I access my blog?

Not only is my life probably not worth worrying about any one’s scrutiny, but also what do I have to hide in my computer? Egotism is thy name.  After all, in spite of Facta documents which state that one has to declare any account over $50’000 on one’s FBAR I declare even the $350 on my PayPal account so the IRS is not a threat, beyond the obvious one of them taking my money.  The NSA shouldn’t be a threat either, as to my knowledge (but what do I know these days? I have even heard that certain seemingly innocuous words can get one flagged) I have never done anything wrong (o.k. speeding tickets don’t count do they?) nor – again to my knowledge (why won’t criminals all wear an overcoat and look suspicious – it sure would make life easier) have I frequented any spies or the like.  My life really isn’t interesting to anyone except my two sons (or at least I hope that they ARE interested), my family, a handful of very good friends and the odd reader of my blogs (see you are important!).

So I’ll try and let the paranoia rest, leave my important web-sites up; no longer ditch the history when I shut the browser, etc. in the hopes that I can continue to write my blogs; check out doings on Facebook; play computer games; and – this is probably the most important reason for going on line of the lot – be able to pay my bills by e-banking.

Remind me of this when I complain in six months that I have yet again done the same and spent a frustrating day getting myself re-connected.