Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Security Bites Back

I have old woman paranoia syndrome.

You didn't know this existed? It does. Google it.*

I blame this - like any good twentieth century child - in part on my mother**

The paranoia goes like this. The website wants me to use a password! I must create something incredibly obscure and only relevant to me! It must have random capitalizations and numbers! If I don't I'll be hacked by this new fangled technology! All 400 dollars left in my savings account will be drained and I'll be ruined! RUINED! RUINED. Ruined. Ruined. ruined. And whatever I do I must NOT write those random passwords down because then some brilliantly clever person who wants to use my secrets (because I have so many and am so very VIP) will find them and use them to wreak havoc. ***

Usually I end up re-setting a lot of passwords and getting permanently locked out of my online bank account. Whatever, I can handle that. But then I got my email about getting into BYU.

I felt so anxious opening the email. Despite the assurances of people I knew, I wasn't guaranteed a spot. I know people scoff at this school but it is, a competitive place. My record is far from perfect and there's plenty of highly qualified people who don't get in, so I was very nervous.

I'd been counting down the days, I knew I was supposed to hear back by the 28th of February. On this particular day (I don't remember the exact date. Shame. I probably should have remembered it, photographed it, and scrapbooked it for future posterity) I must have checked every hour. After eight I finally stopped checking and settled in to wait until I could obsessively check the next day. But I guess BYU doesn't operate at normal office hours. I got a call around nine, from a friend asking if I'd received the email - she just had.

Cue heart attack.

So I tried to log on and read the email.

Shoot, what was my password again?


For that matter... what was my username? (I applied a whole month ago ok? Why would I remember things like that?)


Hmmm maybe I'll just try to change my password. Great, confirmation email sent to my email, I'll just go there and fix it.

Check email... Nothing is there? Why? (Note, I'm still on the phone) Repeat procedure. Laugh. Defend accusatory remarks made by friend. She accused me of being an idiot. She's right.

So I tried to call tech support.

Closed till the morning.


Of course. I laughed some more, mostly to hide the frustrations at myself and the nerves. I planned to get up early and call as soon as tech support opened at seven.

Instead I slept in and rushed to the library to finish a paper before class. Then I rushed to housing office to fill out a form requesting a purchasing card to buy refreshments for a program that night. Then I rushed to wallyworld to buy the items and get the card back in time.

As I drove, my rebellious/stubborn side kicked in. Screw that awaiting email. I couldn't find out right at the moment, so I wasn't going to think about it a second more. I opened the sunroof. I turned up my favorite cd. I stuck my hand out the window and felt for the first time in months the sun warming it. I felt that kind of happy, jumping feeling that comes when the Friday bell rings or when you just start out on a long road trip. I was content.

I'm sure at this point my parents were having complete heart attacks. My bad, parental units. (PU for abbreviation.) I'll add some more funds into the "nice nursing home" jar.

Finally, FINALLY I made it back into my room where I could close the door and call tech support. I changed the password. I checked the email.

I got in.

*I hope you didn't really google it. What a waste of time.

**NOT because you are old, mother. You are NOT OLD. You are a SPRING CHICKEN. I blame it because you are a very cautious person who has instilled this quality in me and you will probably never have a stranger use your savings to fund a vacation to Aruba. It's a GOOD THING.

***That part I blame on reading too much Artemis Fowl.

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