Yesterday on Boxing Day here in Ottawa that point was driven home like a nail from a pneumatic nail gun.
Anti-Virus which is Cheaper when Bought New
Last week, my mail program came up with a note saying, “About to renew your Norton 360 Subscription”, and it was going to use the credit card that it had on file, and it was going to cost $79.00 for my machine. After I stopped yelling obscenities, I logged onto the Norton site, to see that in fact the “renewal” had not gone through, it was Norton attempting to influence me to go to the site and simply hit the “ReNew” button (which I did not). I managed to figure out how to stop this automatic renewal from happening. I sort of suspected that this might happen given Michael James’ post on McAfee’s Persistent Trickery, but I was quite happy to have caught it before it happened.
I have noticed that the Boxing Day sales regularly have Anti-Virus software on sale so I decided I was going to wait and see what might happen with the sales.
Sure enough our Amigos at Future Shop delivered and had Norton 360 on Sale for $29.99, for 3 machines and for a 15 month subscription (remember to renew for 1 machine for 12 months was going to cost $79.99), so my patience seems to have paid off. I checked the Norton site and they had a Boxing Day sale for the same product (3 licenses Norton 360) for $69.99 (wow).
I guess we can add Anti-Virus software that you can purchase at the Boxing Day madhouse.
Over at Data Genetics they did a little PIN Safety study and they found out that there are a lot of dumber than posts people out there, because the most popular PIN is 1234. Really you say? Really, I reply.
Remember this scene from Space Balls?
Dark Helmet was right, if your PIN is 1234 (or 12345 in this instance) that is the stupidest password in the world.
These are the WORST PIN you can Have!
I enjoy when real statistics come out to blow the whistle on those lazy folks who think their birthday or the like is a good PIN for their security system.
Want the best PIN to have? I won’t spoil it for you but a really good one is 6835, check the link above and you’ll see what might be the best choices (but now these are known, are they the best any more? Maybe 1234 is now the best?).
Gotta love some of those PINs, read the article, you may want to go out and change your PIN, very quickly.
It might be fun to ask if you can add another number to your PINs? Of course going to 12345 as a PIN, might not be that good either? Buy Spaceballs the movie too, it’s available on Blu-Ray.
Last week I noticed that my ATM access card for TD was cracking (right through the middle of the on card chip), and my wife told me I should go get a new one before this card stopped working (because it would most likely stop working at the most inopportune moment). This sounded like a good idea to me, so one night last week I managed to get to the TD branch near my house.
Mrs. C8j had told me that you didn’t actually have to go to a teller to get a card, you could simply drop by the desk at the front door and they would take care of you, and so I did, and I met a bubbly young lady who was very helpful. She had a look at my card and said yes now would be a good time to replace the card as it wasn’t going to last much longer. The next question she asked is sort of the crux of my point here: did I want to replace my existing card or simply take a new card with a new number?
The TD ATM card doesn’t have your name on it, so it can be quickly replaced if you wished, and then the young lady pointed out that if I wanted the same number, it would take 10 days to get a new card, however, to get a new card with a new number could be done right away. I decided I’d rather have a new card with a new number, since my old card was not going to last.
This meant I then had to change my on-line access information with the new card number (after the young lady had set up the new number as my new access card number), but it was pretty easy to do, and didn’t take very long.
The inadvertent security crossed my mind as I changed my on-line interface, as now that number is changed if anyone had stolen my banking info or “cloned” my card (as Mrs. C8j had in TD I Apologize ) . I wonder what TD might do if every 6 months or so I came in with a damaged card and asked for a new one? My guess is they might not care much, although their security division might notice after a while, but this looks like an interesting security measure. The number on my ATM access card is not needed for anything except for ATM transactions and Interac transactions, so changing it just means I have to change my on-line banking.
I believe I have stumbled across an interesting inadvertent security measure.
No, I will not be regailing you with stories of folks who took part in the Vancouver Riots, only to find their faces splattered all over Facebook (aka the new Big Brother), incriminating them in a crime (that really is Dumber than Snake Mittens too), no my wife told me a story from the Charlotte, North Carolina Airport and how maybe some conversations should be kept private.
My wife was having a lay over waiting for a flight to another location, so she was sitting patiently at the gate. She noticed that the Airport had many private looking alcoves and areas where “telecommuters” could get things done with some privacy (all of them seemed to have rocking chairs too?!?), however she then also noticed a gentleman sitting in the middle of the waiting area talking on his cell phone (in a very loud tone as well (if you think that my wife is a professional interloper or nosy body)).
This gentleman was concerned because he seemed to have had to purchase his airline tickets twice and he was not sure whether he had enough money in his account to pay for all of it (or he was afraid of bouncing cheques or something like that), so he was talking to his bank (my wife assumed).
The gentleman said loudly, “… yes take the money from the account that had $40,000 in it and transfer over $3000 just in case…”, or something to that effect. He then announced boldly and loudly, “… my access card number? It is xxxx xxx xxx xxxx…” (no my wife did not write it down and she did not recall it either).
As I heard this story I went WTF, is this person insane? I don’t care if he has not given out his PIN number for his access card or which bank he deals with or any other info, people who know how to defraud folks need less than this to break into your bank account and cause some severe damage. I was flabbergasted by the story, but my wife assured me the gentleman did not seem ill at ease doing this and nobody else around him pointed out what he was doing was very financially dangerous.
It’s pretty simple the rules for using telephone banking:
Never do it in a public place where untrusted folks can listen in
Don’t use your wireless phones at home (all a thief needs to do is listen in to the tones and they have your banking info)
Don’t really do this over your cell phone if you can help it
Sometimes being paranoid is the right way to be, especially when it comes to the security of your money.
Banks don’t serve liquor on their premises, and more likely than not will not allow you to withdraw all your funds, if you looked drunk (although I could be wrong), yet there are bank branches (ATM machines) in bars, isn’t that an interesting dichotomy? Maybe it’s not a dichotomy, maybe it’s more of an ironic idea?
Banks do actually monitor the transactions from these “white ATM” machines, I know this because when my wife’s identity was stolen (and her bank ATM card was cloned) money was defrauded from a bar in Montreal, but they only managed to make $2000 worth of fraudulent transactions before the bank shut the account down and locked everyone out (including me and my wife). Good to see that the bank will defend it’s assets from fraud, but would they defend it from a drunken client?
I guess the hope that the banks have is that if you drink enough, you won’t be coherent enough to be able to remember your P.I.N. number, but that is naive ( I think ). The other argument I have heard is that the ATM machines have limits, and you can much more easily blow huge amounts of money on your credit card in a drunken stupor. I guess the story, “… the stripper stole my credit card …” is believable, look what it did for the movie The Hangover ?
Has anyone ever said, “While I was under the influence I made a great financial decision?”, if so, I would dearly love to hear it. This is why Alcohol and Money don’t really mix (but this is only my opinion).
Any other good Money + Alcohol = “... and hilarity ensues...” type stories out there?