….but I was hacked.
Let me explain, and give you a little background.
Most of you have heard of the hackers who attacked several retailers during the holidays and compromised the security of millions of shoppers' accounts.
When we were on our way to New Orleans after Christmas, Mr. Art @ Home tried using one of his credit cards to pay for gas in Tuscaloosa. The card was declined, and when he called his credit card company customer service told him that there was some suspicious activity in Alexandria, Virginia on his card, so they had canceled his card and were sending him another one to our home. Not very convenient as we were traveling, but fortunately I had one of mine to use on our trip.
We believe that the card was compromised because he had bought me some goodies at Neiman Marcus in Atlanta in the store (not online) during the holidays.
When Shanley Belle returned to Tuscaloosa from New Orleans for the new semester and attempted to use her credit card to buy books, her debit card was declined.
Shanley Belle had used her debit card at Target during the holidays. :/
I was so smug. I write checks for virtually everything, and although I had made some charges to Neiman Marcus during Christmas, they were online charges which were secure. I truly hate using credit cards, and we usually only use them when we're traveling. I've always believed that they're from satan.
This week I was knocked off my high horse pretty darn quickly when I received my Visa bill. Some gamer in Atlanta had charged online games to my account. The point of access was through my gmail account via online Christmas purchases.
I was hacked, they knew my password, and they accessed my gmail account several times in Atlanta via an iPhone. I haven't been to Atlanta since early October.
It has taken virtually all my free time this week to finally get people on the phone at the gaming website. Plus I was trying to get Visa NOT to send me another card because I don't want to re-set so many of my online shopping accounts, like Amazon. So I had to request to challenge the charges. So far, the gaming site has credited me one dollar. Yep, a measly dollar (out of $39). But what had me worried is that the kids were just getting started. :/
I reset my Google password, and I've decided that I will check it daily to make sure no one is accessing my Google account from a remote location.
Here's how you can do the same:
Next, you'll notice four rectangles. Look at the upper right hand rectangle entitled Recent Activity and click View All Events that's written in blue. This will show you all activity on your Google accounts and the locations and dates for each activity. That's when I found that someone was accessing my Google accounts in Atlanta.
I'm also considering a more secure email, like @Reagan.com, and investing in Life Lock.
Were you one of the millions of Americans hacked during Christmas?
I plan to return to blogging tomorrow with a Literary Friday post. It has been a busy week, with riding make-up lessons, and I'm afraid we'll have more next week as the temperatures drop. It's not good for the horses to work them in this cold weather.
Until next time…