Seals at play and using cards online

By | November 13, 2017
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It’s amazing what you can find on the internet – everything from dates of little-known historical events to shops selling all sorts of things.

But I’ve just been watching seals play on the beach. I don’t mean I’ve gone down to the sea. I’ve been watching the Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Seal cam on Walney island, not far from us.

It’s a web cam pointing at the part of the beach where seals often sit and play – and often there are seal pups there, too. You can watch what the seals are up to right now – here’s the link if you fancy having a look.

There are quite a lot of this kind of web cam set up all around the world – if there’s something in particular you fancy looking for, just search for that word and then web cam. For example I just searched for Safari web cam and moments later was watching some elephants playing in a pool.

There are loads of other interesting web cams around the world broadcasting live, too- it could be worth having a look.

Why it might not ask you for “verified by visa” passwords any more
If you’ve ever bought anything online using a visa or mastercard credit card, you’ve probably been asked to set up and use a “verified by visa” or “mastercard secure” password.

It’s a bit like the PIN you use in a shop or a cash machine – but for online use.

You set up the password and then when you use the card it asks you for 3 characters from the password so it can check it really is you.

It’s a good system and I definitely recommend using it rather than clicking to say you don’t want to.

But if you set it up a while ago, you might have noticed that it stops asking you for the password – or at least doesn’t ask very often.

What’s happening is the shops will still be contacting Verified by Visa but it won’t be asking you for the letters from your password because it recognises your computer or tablet or whatever you’re using. It knows it’s your device, so it can tell it’s not just that someone’s stolen your card or your card details.
It’ll still sometimes ask anyway, to make certain – but most of the time it won’t.

It does make it more convenient because you don’t need to remember the password and work out what the 7th (or whichever) character is (you can tell when I’m doing this because I end up counting the letters on my fingers). But the flip side is it means you don’t use the password very often… until you’re using a different computer, tablet or phone. And then it can be hard to remember it because you hardly ever use it.

So when you set the password up in the first place, best make sure you won’t forget it, whether by just making sure you can remember it or using a password manager like LastPass (if you’re not sure what one of those is, here’s my previous article about them) or some other way.

But at least it does save you the fiddle of putting the characters from the password in.

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