AT THE INQUIRER we appreciate a firm response to password hacking, and welcome any opportunity to think of a new password that is random, hard to remember and stuffed with letters and numbers and symbols.
We must do it once or twice a week. We are used to it.
This week we did it with eBay, despite the company offering only a breezy weak suggestion that we change our password.
eBay suggested that a password change was a good idea. We say it is a bloody good idea, and we have not stopped there. Instead we have considered a number of options that we are almost 100 percent convinced with leave you untouched by eBay's database breach.
The first is, Change your name. This one is easy, we recommend that you do it first as it will make everything else a lot easier. It costs under a tenner to change your name by deed poll, and there are few hoops to get through.
It is very easy to do, some outfits will do it for you, and you can change your first, middle and surname, or all three at once. Prices range, but the government's official line is "You may have to pay a fee to change your name by deed poll", and we like the sound of that "may".
Now you have a new name, you should change your email address. This one could be onerous and annoying depending on the number of contacts you have. Still we are confident in saying that email options are numerous, and free. Free, with some compromises.
Two factor authentication is the order of the day, so it is also a good idea to change your phone number. How simple that process is, depends. If you feel you have a good reason then firms might do it for you for free. You would probably need something official like a police report to push that through. If you are doing it out of whimsy, you might have to cough up £25.
Changing your address is next, and this could take some time. Although lengthy, this is relatively straightforward and more of you will have been through this process than say, have changed their name.
You will have to indulge the patter and whims of estate agents and their vernacular verbosities, and will have to pay a lump in costs and moving fees. You will have to assess whether it is worth it.
Agency outfit Rightmove reckons that someone buying a £150,000 property in London - and we know that no such thing exists, should expect to pay £3,000 for the privilege.
Next is the issue of changing your birth date. This is very tricky, although we suspect that there are some media personalities who have managed it.
You can order a copy of your birth certificate from the government. Again it costs under a tenner, and you can get it sent to your home.
Once it is in your possession, you could feasibly alter it. We couldn't possibly recommend this, but estimate that some sort of white-out editing material would only cost a couple of quid.
Last and particularly not least, is the need to scorch your old life out of existence.
However, once you have a new name, new address, new email address, new phone number, new birthdate AND a new password, you should be safe from this latest eBay database leak. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ