Recently I wrote about Google’s unfounded suspicion that I was a robot up to some harmful shenanigans. I didn’t take it personally because every other day we hear of businesses – large and small that have been hit by hackers. And every other day somebody on Facebook sends out an alert, warning their friends against accepting any new friend requests.
A few years back I had to send out one of those “Sorry, it wasn’t me” notices to everyone in my address book when it came to my attention that somebody had been using my email account to send some pictures – or at least that’s what they said. I was mortified! Anybody who knew me would have known that I wouldn’t be the one sending any pictures via that medium and certainly not by prefacing it with the caption “Look at my pics”.
Anyway, after sufficient time had passed I decided against changing my address since the damage had already been done, and although I had informed my contacts of this, some of them clearly didn’t want to take the chance and have not opened a single thing that I’ve sent since then.
I’ve grown quite fond of my smart phone, but now I’m inundated with messages from people I don’t know – although they act as If they know me. They start the “conversation” off with a “Hello dear”, which is probably designed to catch me off-guard, or to get me to respond with an “Excuse me, but how do I know you again?”
I once got a message from someone who introduced himself as the person who I met on the bus – except that I haven’t used that mode of transportation in years. I quickly put a block on that number because it was clear that the person who had been travelling on the bus didn’t want to talk to him. Unfortunately I was stuck with delivering the message she seemed unwilling (at the time) to send.
Given these experiences, and with the thought of infiltration in the forefront of my mind I’m always wary of communication I receive from any number that I don’t recognize. Not long after the bus rider attempted to hook up with me, I got a series of texts from another unfamiliar number. Certain that it was an attempt to hijack my phone along with the racy photos that I’ve got stored up in the cloud, I was about to shut it down completely when the fourth and final message came in with a single word. “Sorry”.
Maybe Google isn’t the only one who’s paranoid.