Monday, February 26, 2007

Identity Theft of an Idiot by an Idiot

Somebody totally stole my identity! Isn't that cool? It's just like that commercial where the weightlifter talks in a Valley Girl voice about rhinestone-studded bustiers, except in my case it would just be ordinary me with the cracking voice of a girl-shy, acne-ridden fifteen-year-old gushing about my new Playstation and fantasy games.

I managed to piece together the Master Plan, if you will. The thief, I'll call him Kyle, because I feel like it, hacked into my Amazon account and ordered himself a righteous weekend. Here's the part where I admit to idiocy. My password was six letters long, no upper case, no numbers; I used it for every online account tied to my email address and hadn't changed it in ten years. I like to call that security strategy: Matter of Time. And also? I stored my credit card information on my account. All Kyle had to do was log in as me, fill the cart with some nerd goodies, and express check out with my stored payment information. If you hear a knocking sound, that's my forehead banging against my desk. Or maybe you have company, but probably the former.

As profound luck would have it, Kyle is not that bright either. Sure, he's clever enough to get into a stranger's Amazon account, but lacking in the brain power needed to change the shipping address for the order. That's right, Kyle had his new game system and video games SHIPPED DIRECTLY TO ME. He (I mean, I) even sprang for next-day rush delivery. So who's the idiot now, huh, huh? Okay, still me, but also Kyle. Clearly a case of the blind robbing the blind.

Anyway, I've spent the afternoon not only taking care of this particular mess but righting my wrongs. I've learned from this, as should you! I've changed all my passwords to something more secure and complicated. I've gone to every online account I can think of and deleted all stored credit card information. I encourage you to take a minute to think about whether you are vulnerable to something like this. Kyle is still out there, and he's in the market for a Playstation.

No comments: