Hello everyone, I hope you are all well and have had a better week than I have! This post is a day late but it’s the best I could do in the circumstances. I’ve been diabolically hacked!
The week in general:
Actually the week started really well. My long-awaited passport finally arrived. I was very pleased to see it but had no idea how much I was going to depend on it for the rest of the week.
Thursday morning I was contacted by Optus to tell me that my details had been compromised in a major data leak from their files. Their advice was that all the details on my driving license were now in the hands of hackers and I needed to have my license number renewed urgently. So off I trundled to the nearest service centre -an hour’s drive away- and joined the long, long queue. All of us there for the same reason.
It was one of the better queues I have joined. The sun was shining after days of rain and a light breeze kept it from getting too hot. The people in the queue were friendly and happy-everyone just making the best of a situation that was out of our control.
Eventually I was served, issued with an official document containing my new license number and told to expect my new license to arrive in around three weeks.
That was Thursday.
Friday I found that my computer had been hacked and was infected with some nasty viruses.
(On a side note, wouldn’t it be great if someone invented a vaccine to protect our computers from viruses?)
My bank account was compromised. And my card.
The bank people immediately cancelled my card and blocked my account. Nothing going in and nothing coming out. No one could touch the account-including me!
Fortunately my phone was still okay, although there was evidence that an attempt had been made to get at it too. So I frantically made a number of phone calls to people such as the rental agents to say “Sorry. Your money will not be available till the account is unblocked.”
I was a bit worried that I would meet with some annoyance but I discovered the problem was widespread and I was only one of many victims.
Now this is where the passport comes into play.
I needed money to buy food but could only withdraw from my account by personally attending the bank. They were as helpful as they could be but had been told that the only way I could withdraw money was to show them my drivers license for photo ID. Even though they knew me they still had to sight my ID. And as you will recall my new drivers license was about three weeks away!
We needed to eat. What to do?
One of the bank tellers hesitantly asked, “You don’t happen to have a passport on you do you?”
Next I was told that the account would not be unblocked until the bank had proof that my computer had been professionally cleaned and was virus free. So… another phone call this time to the computer people who were on the job in no time. They had a whole assembly thing happening to deal with all the computers with viruses. They were familiar with the bank’s rules and knew exactly what they needed to supply the bank.
Tuesday afternoon. Computer declared virus free, account unblocked and new card on its way. Drivers license still a couple of weeks away and passport safely tucked into my shopping bag.
Nearly back to normal but my blog post is late. Sorry guys.
It’s amazing how much I have come to depend on my credit card and the internet-especially internet banking. Learning to live without those things for just a few days took quite a bit of adjusting on my part, let me tell you.
Really, it’s not so long ago that visiting the bank to get banking tasks done was the norm. And don’t say I’m revealing my age when I say that because my youngest daughter can remember those days. And she’s the generation after me.
What else happened this week?
I spent a lot of time in the garden weeding mainly. The rain has made everything just shoot out of the ground, including the weeds. But the ground was soft, the job was easy and ripping out weeds I have always found to be therapeutic!
On the weekend our dog club held a competition and I totally enjoyed taking on a steward’s role. Connor is still learning her new higher level so she’s not ready to compete yet. It was a chance for me to give back to the club as they have taught me so much and as with all clubs, they can always put volunteers to work.
“The Other Side of the Ocean” continues to sell.
If you are interested in buying a copy the publishers are Booktrails Agency. You can contact them at https://www.booktrail-agency.com/
They are taking the book to the Frankfurt International Book Fair later this month. Interesting to see what comes of it.
My business activities were pretty much on hold this week due to the problems. Thankfully the ad kept running as I don’t need to do anything manually, just keep a check that all is okay. The blog, which is part of my business, was delayed, as you know. I do intend to monetize it eventually so I’m working on courses within the organisation to learn the best way of doing that. I don’t want to fill the blog up with ads etc. so I’m looking at what alternatives are available.
If you’re interested in how I got started it was when I ordered a free book called The Iceberg Effect. I liked what I was reading. I decided to move forward so at the moment I am continuing to work through the training courses and slowly moving into actually running the business. Great fun, challenging and a bit scary at times. But the coaching is great and there is always someone there to help when I get stuck (happens a fair bit!)
Wrapping up the week:
It seems I have avoided some of the potholes and the ones I have fallen into, I’ve been able to climb out of. The roadblocks are being removed one by one and the path seems to be getting a little smoother.
Main thing is I’ve survived the week. Hoping things are easier next week.
Take care everyone
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