ancestryink fisherman

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hacked By a Pakistani

This past week, Google informed me that my Google account had been trespassed upon by a stranger from a foreign land.  Specifically, they told me "someone from Pakistan" (the IP address of the trespasser located him/her/it in Pakistan) had tried to access my account, but that the good guys, Google,  had thwarted the attempt.

Yay!  I think??  I love the feeling of having a guardian angel in just about any sphere of my life, so being rescued by Google is - nice. One thinks of maidens lashed to railroad tracks, saved from a speeding train at the last minute by a certain Canadian Mountie.   

I am  being hacked by a nefarious Pakistani??  Being a genealogist, I consider my detective skills quite good.  But this preventative act of anti-terrorism is, in short, a little mind-boggling.
It is a little disconcerting to imagine exactly how the fereting-out of this hacker is accomplished.  Roving,  anonymous robots who somehow immediately pick up that I, innocent genealogist from small town in Massachusetts, out of the millions of Google-ettes out there - that I am suddenly being interfered with by a Pakistani??

I really have no idea how Google gets the job done.  If I didn't have a million other things to research like dead whaling captains, and shipwrecks in Peru in 1826, I would probably look into it.

Moby Dick;  illustrator: A. Burnham Shute

I hear what you're thinking:  Obviously, I changed my password.  (And yes, I wrote it down somewhere "secret"* so I would not be cut off from my Google account when I inevitably forget that new, long and complicated password I have now created. And, no it is not the names of my two cats joined together with a % sign.)

Finally, at the end of this transformational and uber-protective Google session - I logged out.

Annnd... promptly stopped receiving notices via email regarding up to the minute posts from my Google+ genealogy friends whom I followed.  Wow, how uncannily quiet this week has been.  Is everyone out in their gardens or hiking or taking to the high seas for a first paddle?  What is up?

This morning, I proactively logged back into my Google account and went searching for some of my regular Google+ posters.  Yup, sure enough they had been posting all week.  I feel stupid.  And I have a lot of reading to catch up on!

I am still not sure why being logged out of my Google account would make any difference at all in receiving Google+ notices via email.  If anyone has a clue, please let me know.  In an effort to responsibly avoid foreign invaders, I still want to log out of my account every time I'm finished with an online session.  But...not if it keeps me from up to the minute news from my genealogical Google friends.

* For the time being I have temporarily forgotten where the secret place is - but I'm sure it is  wherever my car keys are hidden...   ?

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