08 January 2009


The wisdom of the kid

My daughter is 10, but she has already learned something about email that I didn't get until I was in my 20s. A screenshot of the message she sent me earlier:

I hate emails that have been forwarded a million times, period!

Well said. We'll work on that layout and typography as she gets older.

P.S. Here's what her younger sister, age 8, just said to me now in tones usually reserved for chocolate vs. regular milk: "Dad, instead of Safari can I have Firefox?"

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16 November 2007


Hacked or not?

A few days I ago I decided to change all my passwords. It was a precautionary measure, prompted by some spam emails sent out to users at eBay, ostensibly from my eBay account—an account which eBay temporarily suspended later that day.

I haven't bought anything on eBay in over a year, but I do get a lot of spam that mentions the company, so when I saw some emails to me, supposedly from my own account, I figured everything was spoofed and just spam, and turfed them without thinking further. Then I received an official-looking message apparently from eBay itself, titled "TKO NOTICE: eBay Registration Suspension - Possible Unauthorized Account Use." It looked a bit more legit, but I know better than to click links within emails like that, so I signed in at eBay itself.

Sure enough, my account had been suspended, apparently because of spam complaints from other eBay users. After a live support chat, I was reinstated and I changed my password. I'm still not sure whether the outgoing spam mails were spoofed, or if someone hacked into my eBay account. So just to be safe, I changed passwords everywhere else (email, Amazon, .Mac, Flickr, blogs, and so on).

By the way, if you want a really good password, I have a couple of recommendations: the built-in Password Assistant in Mac OS X (which has options to create strong passwords that are still memorable, as well as evaluate whether a password you choose yourself is strong enough), and Steve Gibson's Perfect Passwords page (which creates really insane passwords that no one could ever guess).

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