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October 6, 2015

Last week I was shocked as well as surprised to get a mail from my banker (ICICI to be exact) that as per my request, a new PIN was being delivered to my residential address. Checking the sender’s ID I found that it looked genuine. Or could it be a spam or phishing attempt, I asked myself. Still decided to double-check facts and so called my MIL who is now receiving all our posts on our behalf. More shock set in when I discovered, indeed a new PIN had arrived in a sealed envelope from the bank. I am aware it takes 3-5 working days for the PIN to reach me (in regd address in India) (from Mumbai) if I must request online for a change of password. Which I never did in this case. In order to request a new PIN, my account must have been accessed which comes as rudest shock. Even if the mail & the couriered post could be fake, imagine the amount of information divulged online: my residential address, account number, card number.

It proves someone had been hacking into our bank account. Sends a tremor down our spine because we are NRIs and hence our banking activities are mostly online.  Our entire life is online – we are a Skype family for over a decade now. There is really nothing to hide anyway. We don’t do ‘hawala’ transactions and virtually every single penny of ours is accounted for. Still the sensitivity of my online activities has been bothering me for a while.

Last one week I am suspicious that even my phone is hacked which did not happen back in India. My anti-virus has been constantly warning me that someone is looking at my banking transactions. My Skype got disrupted heavily like it has never been before. I was locked out a dozen times of my own blog and had to sign-in multiple times into the same. My system kept asking me to delete cookies every second day I don’t know why. In years of online banking and blogging, I have never experienced such a nightmarish attempts at hacking like it’s been happening for 2 weeks now. May be for longer, who knows. I have reasons to believe I am hacked only in the last few days. I could have been ignorant earlier.

To whoever too very interested in my day-to-day life, I am posting a direct message:

Allow us to lead our private life. We are entitled to our privacy, as a family and with friends. Imagine your wife/mother/kids being subject to such a personal and close scrutiny by third parties.

I have been paying all my bills and taxes online – for over 7-8 years now. Never doubted my passwords or accounts could be breached. I realize Indian networks are better protected. Now for the first time I fear for our online security and even personal safety. I am giving up a lot of personal info’ I guess which is terribly upsetting us. This has deprived me of my sleep for 2 nights in a row already.

So what should I do. Should I stop paying my bills forthwith. Should I stop talking to my family. Should I get out of all my Whatsapp groups. If I ever let people know about my suspicions, I know I will be asked to leave the groups. I have compromised many people’s safety and privacy. My friends and I hang out in total privacy only in the small online space provided by ‘Whatsapp.’ For some of us , this is a virtual oasis where we let our hair down, even if only for a few minutes each day. The only option now seems to be that, either I must exit all groups family & friends or ask all groups to dissolve themselves.

Everyone is welcome to read my blog – but please stop there. Visit my public profile in Facebook, Twitter. But please don’t hack my phone and read my personal info.’ This is not my earnest appeal to PRESSTITUTES: this is a challenge if you can see to that you can resist stooping to such a low low level of eavesdropping on people’s private matters.

I can’t imagine how my closest circle of friends and relatives shall be shocked if I am to disclose to them that someone is reading all our stuff. Each and everyone of us has a dual personality, some of us wild at heart, that we want only certain trusted circle to see or know about. We may not even want our spouse or kids to learn things about us to which our besties can be privy to. I feel bad and guilty for my friends who don’t know what’s going on yet. Ofcourse this is still my intuition that’s all. I trust my intuition over anything. I am most convinced. But I am leaving a 10% chance open that its not happening. Want to believe the best in everyone.

So should I alter my online avatar – in my phone. I hate it really. I hate everyone. I hate that I have to lie to myself, my friends. I hope this shadowing of my phone will finally stop – if its been happening now.

I am glad for the umpteenth time none in my family or friends is into journalistic pursuits. They wouldn’t ever want to know what’s in other people’s phone because they have better job to do. Shame on presstitutes.

Lots of business to do every month. We all have our own commitments. But the very idea of logging into my bank account seems creepy right now. Shame.

I am thinking of contacting cyberpolice in India regarding breaching of my phone account by Indian presstitutes. As for any foreign – you may be out of jurisdiction, yet you are presstitutes and nothing more wherever you are. If there is one profession in the world where you need to nurture NO ETHICS, you know what it is. Why should violation of anyone’s privacy bother you.

Or otherwise I shall wait for the day you will get bored with me. I hope one day I would be able to tell my family & friends about my doubts and seek their sincere apology for what I’ve done to them: great injustice. I feel terribly awful. The only world I was myself, my best cheeerful was with my friends. I don’t know from today I will ever be normal.

PS: I just did; my girls have taken it in their stride. Blessed to have friends like this. My other great concern is about my MIL’s safety. She is a frail elderly woman, who next of kin is taking care of. In these crime-prone days, I am worried for her naturally. I hope I have not endangered her security in anyway.

Rounding off with a sweet melody of Trisha and Surya. Further, Mylapore Kapali temple tower is seen, the Sannadhi street comes so its my all-time fave with a catchy tune.

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