Tighten your account security

I’ve decided to tighten the security of all my online accounts.

I started last night (not by clicking the ‘enable’ button) but by beginning to delete away my life. My digital life that is.

I made a huge list yesterday, of more than sixty-seven (67) items. A list of all the stuff I could think of that might be connected with a digital version of me. The  list includes email addresses, bank accounts, website memberships and logins, blogs, avatars, social media … and that’s only the stuff I can remember.

The ridiculousness of my online life becomes more and more apparent each day.

Like yesterday when I attempted to login to my Microsoft Live email account. Now keep in mind here I used the correct password but, Microsoft decided not to allow me into my account because I was logging in from a different computer (imagine that). Microsoft then requested details such as: name, address, date of birth, phone number/s, credit card details. Microsoft received none of that and as such that email is officially abandoned.

You know we go along with this crap because they tell us “it’s for your protection”. Especially from banks (warning rant below) but honestly do I need to phone the bank now to ask permission to spend my own money?

So here’s what happened: after spending six (6) months in the Philippines, using my ME Bank debit mastercard the whole time I returned to Australia on October 2nd (2015). I was only in Australia three (3) weeks when I urgently returned to the Philippines following a tragic death. Landing in Kuala Lumpar just three weeks later on a short stopover (Oct 25), I bought a few gadgets from the duty free store at the airport (imagine that). Please note that I spent money at that same airport just three weeks earlier without notification.

The next day I arrived back in the Philippines carrying local currency remaining from the last trip. Lucky for me I had enough to pay fares and book into a local hotel where the staff knew me. Lucky for me when I went to the ATM I was also known to the security guard who had seen me countless times queuing in the heat while the ATM ran on generator or in the belting rain. Usually always with the beneficiary of the withdrawal, not often me. So when I inserted my card to the ATM, the transaction was ‘cancelled’. Puzzled I tried again. This time the ATM told me that my card had been reported lost/stolen and I should contact my bank in Australia immediately? WTF?

I repeat again how fortunate I was that the security guard recognised me and he personally took one of the bank tellers away from a busy queue of customers to retrieve and return the Mastercard. I will always be so grateful to him for that simple act.

You see when I curtly rang the bank in Australia and was chastised by the staff member for not informing the bank I was travelling overseas, that same staff member was astonished that the staff in the Philippines had returned my card, he told me that usually there is no way you can get your card back.

Interesting isn’t it? The staff at ME Bank were prepared to leave me stranded in a developing country with no cash and no way of accessing it because I didn’t ask their permission to spend my own money.

ME Bank without my permission or authorisation cancelled my card as lost/stolen because I bought some music recording gadgets at a duty free store in Kuala Lumpar.

Truly I have had enough of living life dominated by agencies who keep us afraid by telling us ‘it’s for your own good’.

So here I am tightening up my account security by deleting away my digital life. And, like I said in my last blog post it’s going to take a while and that, for ME Bank is probably a good thing.

Ok rant over, if you’re still here that is 🙂

PS: So far gone are pinterest, coursera, vimeo (paid subscription), mailchimp and all my subscribers, email addresses, other smaller accounts oh and … facebook (and i’m not even a quarter way through that list).

PSS: I don’t think I can delete the blogs …

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