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This is my long but important PSA (Public Service Announcement):

PASSWORDS MATTER—make them complicated and un-remember-able. (That’s not really a word, but you get what I mean, right? If you can’t remember them, then neither can the lousy cyber criminal trying to hack your accounts to steal your identity.)

Last week I spent a delightful—not!—2.5 hours dealing with Best Buy because I received an email from them about an item that I did not buy.


I know I didn’t buy a Hoover Power Carpet Scrubber because I don’t have any carpets AND because our Best Buy store closed up permanently during the Covid-19 closures and the nearest one is 1.5 hours away.

Turns out someone supposedly named “Karen Butigan” (this person’s identity could have been stolen so I’m only saying this is the name used) purchased the carpet scrubber for someone supposedly named “Veronica Allen” using one of the 7 different credit cards I found attached to my account. All different names from all over the country: Alameda CA, Cincinnati OH, Lancaster PA, Winterhaven FL, New Haven CT, Hollywood CA, and Westborough MA.

I FREAKED out, as you might imagine.

The Best Buy tech I was “chatting” online with said, “Well, at least, it’s not your card number.”


Long story short: I changed my email and my password, but the wrong name remained on my account for some reason the tech could not explain. I, then, called the main office’s 888 line, which took another 30 minutes. Finally, I canceled my account.

(Or, rather, I tried to cancel my account. Apparently I’m still on their mailing list, which does not make me happy. I’m still working on that.)

After I hung up with Best Buy, I opened my Google account and ran a security check of all my passwords (144 by their count).

Google found:
– 6 compromised passwords (that did NOT include Best Buy). I changed them immediately.
– 30 with weak passwords. I’m tackling them next.
– 108 re-used passwords. They’re on my ToDo list.

The fun never ends around here. But, trust me, you don’t want a cyber troll to get into your accounts. EVER!

FYI: I use an app on my phone to keep track of my new, extremely complicated passwords. It’s called: 1Password. (A misnomer because nobody has just 1 password. 😉)


Book 2 in my Property Sisters of Montana series is now in PRINT. And my author copies arrived on Friday. I decided to wait until I had some “help” this time to UNBOX them. 😉

Buy your paperback copy of MEET ME IN MONTANA HERE!

Last week’s Q&A was: Have you ever traveled abroad? Yes or No?

This question was the most fun!

You’re such a worldly bunch! Here’s a short list of places you’ve visited: Ireland, England, Scotland, Israel, Japan, Australia, Russia, Romania, Majorca, Germany, Turkey, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Finland, French Polynesia, Canada and numerous islands in the Bahamas.

And from me: Yes, China. With my late sister, Jan.

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

Meri Overstreet – Not unless Canada counts
Anna Smith – No

(Meri and Anna congrats. Please email me your pick of either a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon gift card.)


This week’s Q&A: Have you ever been hacked or had your identity stolen? Y or N?

(Two winners will be chosen by random drawing to receive either a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $5 Amazon gift card. Please reply the usual ways: email or on my DebraSalonenAuthor Facebook page.)

Stay well, my friends!

Happy reading,


Next week: More fishing. Do you know what a slip bobber is? Me, either, but I’m now the proud owner of 6 of them.



Copyright © 2020 Debra Salonen