Lifestyle & Culture

Account Insecurity

December 2, 2018



EARLIER TODAY, wanting to write a post in this very space, I accidentally clicked the wrong thing on my computer and I was locked out of my blog. It turned out to be worse than being locked out of my house, which has happened to me more than once. All I had to do in each of those instances was open a window. That’s a simple task here in Maine because none of our windows have locks. Any idiot can just slide them open and climb in. It was harder back in D.C., where I had to use a rock to break a pane of glass in a French door and then stick my hand inside to turn the doorknob. I got inside easily enough but immediately had to go to the ER because I had inadvertently slit my wrist doing so. I needed six stitches and endured a frantic drive to the hospital with my teenage son, unlicensed but with a learner’s permit, at the wheel. Just for fun, God threw in a severe thunderstorm enroute. Still, despite all of that, it was easier, though bloodier, than getting locked out of my blog.

First I received a message saying I no longer could access this blog. Then came the barrage of  security questions. What was my favorite pet? Jesus, that changes on a daily basis! I tried “Tank,” our adorable dead pug from years ago. Nope. Then I tried “Daisy,” my feline soul mate, also deceased. No again. Okay, what city were you born in? I found out just today that Brooklyn is not a city, it’s only a borough inside a city, that being New York City. Of course I knew that, who doesn’t, but a card laid is a card played. There are no do-overs with a computer.

By then the Google people were suspicious and requested the phone number on the account. Only it was an old one from years ago that I couldn’t remember. After entering the wrong phone number, all hell broke loose. In no time my email flooded with messages from Google saying my account was “in peril.” They sent me several sets of numbers to use to unlock it, but each time I also had to enter a password with it and it was never the right one, despite my having to create a new password each time. Finally came the message that I had tried too many times, and I would have to wait until later, when “someone will contact you.”

After a lot of time and frustration, with frantic emails to this account and that account, and numerous text messages to my cell phone sounding the alarm, I finally managed to get back in. Don’t ask me how. All I know is that throwing a rock at my computer would have been so much easier.

—Andrea Rouda

Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid

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