I found both of  Mat Honans’ articles “How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking” and “How I Got Digital Life Back” to be incredibly interesting. My boyfriend’s Apple ID was hacked two years ago. The person downloaded over 500 songs (mostly flute music, oddly enough), and it was charged to his credit card.  We had been planning a trip to Georgia when he checked his bank account and saw that nearly $600 had disappeared overnight. He opened his iTunes and there they were…516 songs ready to be downloaded. Fortunately, his bank was understanding and the money was back in his account by the end of the week. Initially, however, all my boyfriend could say was “why do this to me?” It was a gross violation of his finances, and once the music finished downloading, his ears. I think he was as unsettled by the flute music as much as how easy it was to break into his Apple account. We never figured out how or why the person did it, but after reading this article I’ve realized that it was most likely very easy for the hacker. All you need is a little information and the inclination to wreak havoc.

I’ve been completely paranoid about my online information since the Flute Music Debacle. My Amazon and Apple email addresses are different. I have four email addresses that I use regularly, each with different passwords. I change my Facebook password once every six months. I use PayPal often, and all my social networking pages are on private. As careful as I am, I am often struck by the fact that there is very little about my life that doesn’t involve the internet. I write and publish my work articles online. I talk to my boyfriend (who’s in grad school in Colorado) and family (in South Dakota) over Gmail and Skype.  I pay all my bills online. My photographs and important documents are all in Dropbox for the most part, but for a long time, I trusted that my information was safe on my computer.  I guess the message here is that you really can’t be too careful. It doesn’t take a genius to completely destroy your online life.