New laptop and old passwords

don't panic button

Last weekend I tipped a glass of wine over my laptop.

(It is an embarrasing truth that this isn’t the first, or even the second of my laptops to suffer from alcohol in the keyboard.)

Although my old friend looks fine when I boot it up, the keyboard no longer works (nor any ancillary keyboard I plug into it) so I can’t enter my PIN and log in.

I’d hoped it might dry out and recover. Such optimism had been justified last summer when my mobile fell from a top pocket into the fishpond while I was blanket-weeding. Indeed, at one point – on Tuesday – I was actually able to enter all four numbers and log into my laptop, although I couldn’t do anything requiring letters.

It has occurred to me, while typing this, that I could have used my wireless mouse (which was working fine) to open the on-screen keyboard, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and at the time I didn’t think of it. Since then, even those number keys that had worked have died.

It was quite cheap wine, so it’s probably eaten into connections. ☹

laptop
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

What has surprised me, is how easy it was to set up my account on my husband’s laptop. With all my documents on the cloud, and my links synchronised on Chrome, I haven’t had to look up any of the carefully coded passwords saved on my phone.

I now have a new laptop, which emphasises how painfully slow my old one was. It took very little time to set up. Bought as a pre-black Friday bundle, it is possibly a blessing in disguise.

In spite of the delay caused when each new task requires yet another program I haven’t downloaded yet, it has been an unexpectedly painless experience.

drawng of a writer

My only reservation is, if it’s this easy for me, how easy would it be for someone to become me (virtually speaking) if they could log in to my laptop (or, indeed, anyone’s laptop) with my Microsoft password or PIN.

Passwords

I have, however, had to check my password database for another reason this week.

I am registered on the website Have I Been Pwned to receive email alerts of data breaches, and yesterday I had such an alert for a website I use.

Have I Been Pwned has a search facility where you enter a password to learn if it has been included in any known data breaches. If it has, you won’t know where unless you subscribe, but even if it wasn’t your account that was hacked, it indicates that your unique password is less unique than you thought.

You can also sign up (free) to be alerted when hacks are discovered, although there are several reasons why this may be some time after the actual breach.

Having received such an email alert, I checked the relevant password at https://haveibeenpwned.com/. Sure enough, my password had been ‘pwned’. I immediately changed it and spent the rest of my working day going through accounts on my database to check if I’d used that password anywhere else.

What delays have slowed you down lately?

What disasters have turned out to be blessings in disguise?

15 thoughts on “New laptop and old passwords

  1. Really good points – being hacked or having something stolen that the thief can then easily access all of your sites/accounts are really worrying issues with technology. But maybe that spilled wine was a blessing in disguise – fresh new laptop that works a little better & more quickly, less stress and more awareness over online security 😉
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right – there’s nothing quite like mooching into your own account from someone else’s computer to ring alarm bells. It only takes a Microsoft password or PIN. I’m slightly reassured by the fact I don’t let Chrome save really important passwords, like PayPal

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew my old one was beginning to tie itself up in knots (it was pre-Win 10 so has had many updates) but the speed of the new one is unexpected – even though I did go for more RAM and a better processor this time (affordable as a bundle of the previous version after a new once came out).

      Like

    1. Thanks. I can’t believe how much longer this battery lasts! I suppose you get what you pay for, and my last one was something of an emergency purchase. This wasn’t a black Friday deal, but I can recommend buying the previous model when they’re selling it off after a new one has launched.

      Like

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