March 8

How I almost got hacked and how I avoided it

If you don’t want to read this post, here’s the spoiler:

OMG stop reusing your passwords!!

Ok, now I can start.

This morning I was logging into Skype because I had a podcast interview, and Microsoft asked me to verify my identity. This is not unusual because I hadn’t used this computer or Skype in a while. But when I verified my info, Microsoft alerted me to some suspicious activity. I figured they were just saying that it was weird that I was logging into the system from the Nashville area instead of San Diego, but NO! Someone had tried to login from Russia, France and Slovenia.

What the what???? I mean, I just booked a trip to Paris for a women’s retreat this summer (OMG, yes I did!), but I sure as hell haven’t been logging in from a coffee shop in Slovenia!

This scared me quite a bit, so I clicked the link to “Secure your account.” The popup said basically, don’t worry. These were unsuccessful attempts, so you’re safe and doing the right things.

What are the right things, you may ask? Well, I set it up so I am asked to verify my account (two-factor authentication), and, more importantly, I HAVE UNIQUE, UNGUESSABLE PASSWORDS for EVERY SITE I VISIT.

I use LastPass to manage this. Others use Dashlane or 1Password or KeePass or others. Just use something so you can stop reusing username/password combos!

Here’s the video of the story. Please watch it because I had a lot of fun putting it together.

Now I get it. I totally understand how much of a pain it is to manage your passwords. In fact, I took a moment to interview my husband about his resistance:

So I get it. But you have to take steps.



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  • Just love all of the information that you supply us all. Some I use, save for later or start doing. I agree, I try really hard to maintain and update my passwords. I use a basic format but keep changing the words. I have started to use sentence phrases like : I love to play golf and then use combos of letter and numbers throughout the phrase. I also track this mess on an excel spread sheet / or my travel book. I still use paper, and date this info when I changed it…. so when I start to see stuff….. I then know how long my password(s) need to be changed, and I do it all together. thanks!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}