An open letter to my namesakes

Hi, all you other Joe McMahons out there.

I’m sure you’re all great guys, a pleasure to know, upstanding in your community, and a blessing to your families. Kidding – I know at least one of you wanted to cheat on his wife.

“Why would you say a thing like that! How could you possibly know that?”

Well, Google tells me. I take that back – actually, you tell Google to tell me, via Gmail.

Many of you seem to have the bad habit of using our name @ gmail.com when you are asked for an email address. I am at a loss as to why you do; magical email fairies are not going to deliver you mail because you tell gmail your name. I’m guessing it’s just plain laziness and not being willing to bother to spend the grueling 2 minutes it takes to set up a Gmail account.

This is why all the places you set up accounts for always break, and you can’t log in anymore. Because it’s my frigging email account, you dolt.

Whenever you set up an account to post a personal ad in Liverpool, or sell your used van, or buy a new laptop and set up a Windows Live account, or join Ashley Madison (that was my very favorite) and use that account, I’m the one who gets the confirmation message.

You know what I do? I confirm your account, and then I immediately reset the password on your account so it’s my account, and I set up 50-character passwords and 2-factor authentication if possible.

You know why? Because accounts linked to my Gmail account might be usable to social-engineer someone into access to my Gmail account.

And that’s my Gmail account. Keep your grubby paws off it. If not, well, in the words or René Belloq:

“Again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away.”

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