The Mystery of the Unexpected Package

Has your child ever done anything that genuinely shocked you and you didnn6xi10vr_sdfsfpst know whether to be upset or just simply burst out laughing? This is a conundrum we all face at times, the latest of mine began with receiving an unexpected large parcel from China. Once opened, the parcel revealed its mysterious contents to be a brand new violin in a neat black case. I cautiously checked the parcel, thoroughly confused, convinced there must be a mistake and that I must have received someone else’s goods. However, the package was addressed to myself and the invoice inside again also matched my all of my details. I was confounded trying to figure out whether this was the result of maybe staying up late one night and sporadically deciding that learning the violin was a great idea while in a semi-dream state of delusion, yet there had definitely been no such occasion of late. So where had this mystifying item come from?

What I came to find out was that my daughter made the request that prompted a factory in China somewhere to produce and deliver the instrument right to our door. Her free reign on my iPad appeared to have been the very thing that facilitated this exchange of my money for my daughter’s tangible goods. I thought I was prepared for this because I protected my devices from in-app purchases in the phone’s settings that I completely forgot about the apps and wallets that I did leave open and available for my own use of the device.

With technological advances making it easier than ever to complete purchases from the comfort of our couch, we don’t even need to stand up to search for our credit card hidden in yesterdayn6xi10vr_sdfsfpss coat pocket or somewhere at the bottom of a handbag. Shopping apps have made our life so much easier! With over 65 million downloads of shopping apps including our favourite brands, grocery stores, global online retailers and bespoke gift companies there is literally an app available for every type of purchase we could ever dream of and we don’t even have to leave the driveway!

After a little discussion with my budding Natalie MacMaster, it became apparent that she decided she would like a violin for her birthday and found the shopping app open that I had last used. She simply searched for violins and like magic a whole host of violins appeared! All she had to do was click the big bright ‘Buy Now’ button and her birthday present would be on its way! With my default card details already stored and delivery address previously registered, that was all it took. Thankfully this learning curve only cost me $99 and fortunately the cost of violins has reduced significantly since my last recollection. Suffice to say, lessons were learned all around.

So how do we plan to prevent such surprises in future? First, I plan on checking my email address a little more often and with a little more scrutiny. Had I checked my email properly, I would have seen that there was a Thank You note that informed me of the purchase right after it happened. I might have been able to cancel the order or at the very least been prepared for when the package showed up a couple of weeks later. Had it been a refrigerator or something of greater weight or value, it would have been pretty important to spot before they threw the crate on a shipping container and freighted it to our front porch.

I decided that it would be a good time to update my passwords with new ones, and I went through all of the apps on the phone that I let my younger children use. I had to make sure that whenever there was a purchase made, that my new password would be required, preventing anyone from making purchases without my authorization. Smartphones and tablets can be convenient at times, but we need to take time to understand settings on each of our apps so that we can understand how things work, especially when it comes to giving an electronic device (and our kids) access to our wallets and our bank accounts.

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