HOW DO THEY DO IT? – Marilyn Armstrong

I’ve been trying to pay off credit cards which got used to repair the house. It was a bad idea, but it seemed reasonable at the time. It wasn’t either reasonable or good as ideas go. Now, it’s payoff time.

So I got a notice today that Discover had gotten their big payment. I wanted to see if I had overpaid or had a small remaining balance. One way or the other, it would be less than $100.

I couldn’t remember my username. I didn’t know my password. After a long back and forth between me and Discover I eventually rediscovered my username and eventually, learned I didn’t have a password — I had a pin number. Which I also didn’t remember. More back and forth through email.

I won’t give them my mobile number. Sorry. Won’t do it. I don’t need to carry around anything else that can be easily hacked.

Eventually, I got it sorted out. Then, I thought I should check and see if any other of the bills had been paid, but I didn’t remember my username or passwords for any of them, either.

I spent the whole evening doing this and I’m exhausted.

How do hackers figure it out? I can’t figure it out and I created these usernames and passwords in the first place. If the creator of the username and password can’t get them straight, how do hackers figure it out?

It’s all too much for me.

24 thoughts on “HOW DO THEY DO IT? – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. It’s insane. I have dozens ok hundreds of passwords usernames pin numbers. Most of which have been changed a hundred times because either I forgot it, or typed it in wrong, which negated the whole thing and had to start over as I’d tried once too many times. Sigh. It would be wonderful if I could write them down in a book and cross them off as they are deleted lol, but that negates the purpose of a password I suppose. lmao

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  2. I have a list of everything but on a memory stick and not on the computer. I have even begun to collect all of Mr. Swiss passwords because his notes were on scraps of paper that he lost or forgot where they were. No-one has access to my words. I am very exact about what they are. Mostly they are just web sites where I buy stuff. I do not have so many credit cards and I pay most stuff online with Paypal.

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    • Pat, that’s actually the cleverest thing I read today. Bravo. Whereas I, as all the others, live with a wealth of rubbish pw’s codes, names, numbers, dates, songlines, breakfast lists, etc etc etc….. MY main problem however is that I’m moving about so very much that my sheets of papers, notebooks, and even ‘vaults’ get lost or stay in another hidden corner where I’ll never find them again, and hurrah, hurrah, this week Hero Husband drove me insane by daring to use HIS iPad (which is de facto mine since, like, forever and a day!) and he closed all my precious tabs…. all, so I couldn’t even try to find out my last renewed pws…. oh the joy!

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  3. I won’t give out my phone number, either, unless I absolutely have to. As for the user name/password issue, I have a place I keep them, but I’m not saying where, and I change them periodically.

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  4. There are actually little hard bound books that one can purchase for a few dollars in which one can put all that stuff. Keeping track of the book then becomes the challenge I suppose, but I keep it in one central location and nobody who wasn’t deliberately trying to find it would see it either. Even with the written proof of what my ‘codes’ are, I still run into problems time to time when some website or other won’t recognize what I ‘know’ are my identifiers. Technology remains flawed.

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  5. I guess there are not many elderly hackers. I memorise the most important passwords and pins and use a password manager for the rest otherwise I just wouldn’t cope. If I can’t remember I usually end up resetting the password.

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  6. it is hard trying to remember all of our passwords. and as for bill-paying, I try to have as many of them as I can automated so that I don’t have to think about them.

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    • I have most of mine automated, but right now, I’m paying stuff down so I need to actually see what I owe. Specifically. Instead of getting the information (what you owe), they now play at least a dozen advertisements on their automated lines BEFORE they let you know what your balance is. Seriously, does ANYONE want this?

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  7. I write down my username in a cryptic that I know, but nobody else can guess (actually, my usernames are simple, so they’d be easy to guess). I have three password roots. I write down one letter to remind me of which root I used and then I put down the change from the norm (so “ax51$” means something to me ;)). It is in one location, so hopefully I don’t lose it! But someone finding it would be lost.

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