Tag Archive | Google

Gmail Woes

(This actually happened yesterday . . .)

I tried to sign in to one of my gmail accounts, and I couldn’t.


I retyped my password.

I rechecked it.

I copied and pasted it.

Nope, no luck.

This is weird.  I changed my password the night of April 6, just in case.

So, I tell Google that I’ve lost my password.  It sends a link to my other account, to enable me to sign in and change my password.

I do it.

A minute or so later, it tells me that my account is open in another location, and they are signing me out.


My account SHOULD NOT be open on ANY other computer.  It has been months since I’ve signed in from another computer.  And I always, always, always sign out, erase the history, cookies, and everything else and restart the computer, if it’s not my computer.

I only have one computer.  This one.  (Too bad, because then Yitzchak and I could both work at the same time.)

There is no reason that my account should be open in any other location.

Which means: I’ve been hacked.  And I was lucky enough to catch the guy.

I sign back in.  I go to the bottom of the page, and sign out all other sessions.  Then I take a look at the IP.

It says my IP.  There are two other IPs listed, but both are from a few hours ago.  Time differences?  Both are apparently in Israel.

Makes sense, if you suspect that the hackers are Arabs.

But the IP locator will only tell me that I am from “Haifa”, and these two are from Tel Aviv.  It will also tell me what company.  Not too useful.

I enable, on all three of our gmail accounts, 2-step verification.

At first I tell it to trust my computer.

But if most of these have my IP, and all of them give the same browser/computer information, is that really a good idea?

No, it’s not.

I tell it not to trust my computer.

Which means that from now until I disable it, every time I want to sign in to my account, they will call me, tell me the code, and I will have to wait for the code before I can sign in.  (My phone doesn’t get text messages.)

And it takes longer to load after the two-step verification.

Great.  Just great.

I knew this stuff happened, it just had never happened to me before.

Thank G-d I caught it in time.

And now I worry about my WordPress account, and my Hotmail account.

Oh – and my bank accounts?

I hope that none of the other stuff I hear about – related to this and related to everything else – will actually happen to me or anyone I care about.

I wonder what they did to my account, and what they were planning to do.

Should I give the IPs to Yitzchak’s father and let him lay some traps?  That way, I don’t have to worry about two-step verification.  (And because I still sort of want to preserve my privacy, I won’t tell you who Yitzchak’s father is.  I’ll just tell you that he’s famous in his field.  And he’s brilliant.)

May I – we –  never have to go through any of the nasty stuff I hear others going through, no matter what type of issue it is.

Out Of Touch

social media networks, social media, facebook, twitter, social life, online social life, online socializing, keeping in touch, out of touch, technology

Sometimes I feel really out of touch with all of my old classmates, and the world in general.  I have friends, yes, but they are mostly mothers, so once-in-a-while phone calls are considered fine, and there’s always a feeling of, “We should keep in better touch,” between us.  But we don’t.  Okay, so what?  We find it easier to keep in touch with people that we see on a daily basis, that live in our neighborhood, or that call us instead of waiting for us to call them.  And that’s fine.

So why do I feel out of touch?  Well, here are a few possibilities:

I don’t have Facebook.

I don’t have Pinterest.

I don’t have Twitter.

I have LinkedIn, but we both know that that’s not saying much.  And, I hardly ever sign in, anyways.

I don’t know what half of the sites I hear about are (Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit).

I don’t know how to properly use a webcam (not that anyone uses those anymore, anyways).

I don’t like to spend a lot of time on the phone.  That need wore off during the hours that I spent on the phone with Yitzchak, and with other people who were “helping” (or really helping) us arrange our wedding.

I don’t like to talk too much about the nitty-gritty details of my life.  And I don’t like to share too much of it with family, either.  (This is the result of a few very nasty experiences with a few people in my family. It’s became a more global fear that has prevented me from speaking to anyone, just in case they don’t keep their word and end up telling my secrets.)  Because, honestly, my life feels really boring most of the time.  That’s not a complaint – I like life to be boring.  I’ve had more than my share of interesting stuff, so please, G-d, keep my life incredibly boring for the next sixty or seventy years.  Regular stuff – kvetchy kids, teething, money worries that usually get resolved, that kind of boring stuff.  Incredibly boring.  Everybody knows about this stuff.  And yet, in my mind, a boring life is the best kind.  Then again – if life is boring (thank G-d, please G-d, only the good kind of boring) what is there to talk about?

I don’t feel like there is too much to tell, so I usually feel awkward starting a conversation, or answering questions.  I am also not very good with open-ended questions like, “How are you?”  I’m fine, thank G-d.  How are you?  If you’d really like to know the answer to your question, you will have to be specific.  In general, people who ask, “How are you?” generally don’t really want the answer, anyways.  (This I learned the hard way.)

I don’t live near most of my childhood/teenage friends.  So, when I get updates or an alumni newsletter, I feel really out of touch.

I don’t even know what to say to half of these people, should I happen to see that they are online and Google chat them.

And . . . I work from home, which means that I don’t get a lot of adult social interaction unless I actively look for it.  To be honest, I don’t usually have the energy.  It’s a bit easier now, because I have a friend (O.) who comes to work on her own stuff in the area, and stops by to talk – a few times a week.  And I am watching my neighbor’s baby, so she comes by to nurse him every few hours, and we often talk.  But it’s not the same.  Plus, now that I am watching Y.’s baby, I can’t just “make my own hours” and schedule shopping trips whenever I want.  I watch her baby and Shlomo, work when they let me, and work some more when Yitzchak comes home and Eli (the other baby) has left.

So I guess it’s no surprise that I often feel out of touch with the world.

The question is: Is that really a bad thing?

I’m not sure . . . but I do know that many people are too “connected” nowadays via the internet to really put much energy into real-world relationships.  So I think I’ll stick with what I’ve got.  Thank G-d that I have what I have.

A Lesson In Commenting*

lessons learned, learned a lesson, lightbulb, idea lightbulb, ideas, comments, criticism, learning, lightbulbs

I just learned a lesson:  Think carefully, very carefully, before you comment, especially using WordPress.  To be honest, I usually do think carefully.  I choose my words, choose how I say it, decide if I really have something to add (advice counts), and if it is really a post worth commenting on (sometimes, it is not).  Sometimes, though, I get a little too personal, or a little too carried away.  Or, I did not read enough of the blog to realize that the person in question is not open to hearing what I have to say.  The problem with WordPress?  You cannot edit or delete your own comment (unlike Blogger), unless it is on your own blog.  Sheesh.

So, from now on, before I comment, I will think five times, I will edit five times, and I will ask polite, respectful, politically correct Yitzchak to approve my comment.  As most of you have probably guessed from some of the opinions that I express on this blog, “Politically Correct” is far from being my middle name.

I ask any of you who did not like my comment on your blog, or who took offense, to please forgive me, let me know, and feel free to delete the comment.  In fact, please do delete it.  Who knows?  Maybe I would have pressed “edit” or “delete” myself, if I were using Blogger.

Maybe this is what it means, “Think before you speak.”  I always thought, “Yeah, I think before I speak.  But if I decided to say it, then I think it has to be said.  And if you don’t like it – well, who said you have to like everything I say, or even agree with it?”

So, maybe what I said, or wrote, did need to be said or written.  Maybe it really did.  But maybe it did not have to be written to a specific person.  I suppose, that is why I have my own blog; and as it is often said, things need to be done “b’ofen hamitkabel”, in a way that will be accepted by the receiver.  If it will not be accepted, then forget it.  This is hard for me to swallow, oftentimes.**

So, I apologize again to any and all of you whom I have offended (hopefully not too many), and please remember that I say things because I feel they need to be said and heard; you are never, ever required, or even asked, to publish a comment that you do not like.  Especially if you do not like it, or it insults you.  Because in most of those cases, and especially if comments are moderated and you do not have a contact page, I meant the comment for one set of eyes only.  And, if I insulted you, please let me know.

Please take my poll!  Thank you.



*This post, while prompted by a specific comment that I recently made, is not only about that one comment.  I have made at least three comments that I afterward wanted to delete or edit, none of them on the same blog.

**(Politically correct, nice, Yitzchak did not like this part, and wants me to omit it, but I feel that it is necessary to my readers’ understanding of where I am coming from and what I have learned am learning.  Tell me if he is right.)  After all, I accept any and all criticism, think about it, and often act on it.  Why shouldn’t everyone else?  Because “everyone else” is not me.  And while that may be important to me, and a strong point for me, as well as a point of pride, not everyone can do it.  And it is not fair to hold everyone else up to my own personal standards, especially since different people have different strengths and weaknesses.

Online Jobs

online job search, google search, jobs, online jobs

So, as I stated here, I have been looking for an online job to supplement the editing job that I already have.  Well, first of all, most of the “jobs” out there are scams.  It gets more frustrating every time I search.  Here are a few pointers for identifying scams:

1) If the site doesn’t have good English, good grammar, or good spelling, think twice.

2) Dr. Google.  Either Google the site’s name,  or Google, “site’s name scam” (for example, “online income solution scam”).

3) Check Snopes.

4) Do they charge you money in order to use their site?  If yes, think twice.  You shouldn’t have to pay someone in order to work for them.

5) Is the site well-organized and well thought out?  Many sites that are run by scammers are, but many are not.

6) What exactly is the job for?  What will you be doing?  If they do not specify what your job will be, it is a red flag.

7) Read their Terms and Conditions.  If they are not clear, take that to be a warning sign.

8) Are they rated by the Better Business Bureau?  If not, why not?  If yes, what is their rating?

9) Make sure any logos or external links that are displayed on the site actually work.

10) If it sounds too good to be true, then it often is.

Obviously, there are some exceptions to these rules.  It all boils down to doing your homework carefully.  For me, the first thing I look at is the level of the English.  In real life, if you don’t have a good reason not to speak or write proper English, I can’t respect you as much.  I know it sounds stupid, but I just can’t.  If English is your mother tongue (here I let all my Israeli friends off the hook – they just have to speak and write a decent Hebrew), and you still can’t speak it properly, much less write it properly, then there is something wrong.  Either you never paid attention in school, or you are stupid.  And by stupid, I mean the common usage of the word: a stupid person is someone who expects that he won’t land in jail if he employs illegal immigrants, or some other such thing.

But, really?  You want me to do business with you, but you can’t even take the time and effort to be professional?  You want me to do business with you, and give you personal information, but you never bothered learning word order?  Give me a break!

See my post on Online Income Solutions and my ideal job.

Online Income Solutions

online income solutions, scamFor the past week, I have been seeing ads for a way to make a couple hundred dollars a day.  Two days ago, it was $379/day; yesterday, it was $250/day.  Whatever.  So, finally, I clicked.  I’ll admit – part of it was my curiosity at an obviously religious Arab woman who was the one claiming she had earned it.  And part of that curiosity was a bit of racism.  Racism is the reason I didn’t click before – I don’t want to join a company that is headed by Muslims.  Finally, though, I clicked.  I wanted to find out what this Arab lady was doing.  I figured it couldn’t be something that I didn’t know and couldn’t do better, since I don’t think she can be any smarter than me, and is probably dumber (IQ again).  (Okay, guys, let’s leave my racist motivations aside here; that is not the point of this post.  I added it simply to explain why it took over a week for me to click, and why I ended up clicking.)

The click took me to their site, which asked for my full name, phone number, and email.  (The page that I got also ended in “/arabic”, so my racism was somewhat founded.)  I believe I but “C” as my full name; the site did not accept it.  So, I ended up putting “crabapple”, the email address I use for sign-ups, and an imaginary phone number that I do not believe anyone has (972-52-000-0000, 972 being the country code, and 52 being a prefix for one of the cellphone providers here).

Then, I was allowed to look at their website.  It looked pretty decent, and much less of a risk than Empower Network, because it was a one-time fee of $19.95, instead of a monthly fee of $25.  Yitzchak thought so, too.  We read the disclaimer, the terms and conditions, and the FAQs.  We read all the fine print.

And then, I Googled it.  It came up as: scam, scam, scam, scam.  And, “Do not do this, they took  my money.”  “Do not do this, it is a scam.”  “These people are scammers, how do I get my money back?”

And the Muslim lady?  Well, two days ago, she lived in Haifa (that is what it said on their site).  Yesterday, I found a link to Career Journal, their fake advertising site, whose comments are closed ‘because of spam’.  It is the same article I found two days ago in my Google search, but then I was only looking at the comments.  The article says that this lady lives in Tel Aviv.  Looks kind of fishy to me.

I am also very cautious about sites that do not use good English, grammar, or spelling.  Online Income Solutions‘ site had errors in grammar and spelling.  That’s a red flag for me.

So, what am I saying?  I’m saying this: Be careful.  In the end, no matter how legit it looks, it might not be.  And while I am kind of wary of Empower, I happen to think it is completely legit.  In fact, I am 99.999% sure of it, after a week and a half of thinking.  I also have no proofs otherwise, other than the fact that almost all of the 78 pages of Google results seem to be written by affiliates.  And that, my friends, proves nothing other than good SEO skills.  So, take Empower Network or leave it.  But stay away from Online Income Solutions, and ALWAYS do a Google search before you put down your money.

Update: Today I Googled both Online Income Solutions and Career Journal, to find their addresses, but I could not find them, or any of their affiliates.  All I am finding are articles denouncing them (and not so many of those, either).  I guess someone put a stop to their game, somehow.  As they say, “Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

Update (Dec. 12, 2012): I saw their ad again, and clicked for you.  Here is Online Income Solution’s site (with the addition of a “+ISRAEL” end to the url).  And here is their Career Journal article.  Both pages did not want me to close them, and I have read that the site, as a whole, makes it hard for your computer to close it.  So, click at your own risk.