Denied Access in Oman

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December 20th 2014
Published: December 21st 2014
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It has been a strange struggle trying to acces technology on this trip. The technology itself is readily available--wifi and internet services abound. The unexpected situation has been trying to access our accounts. When we arrived in Abu Dhabi, we nonchanlantly thought we would check our emails and quickly realized we were denied access.

We tried logging in on Kyle's iPad and again on the computers provided by the hotel, but each time we received a message we could not log in because we were using a device or logging in from a location we had not used before. This has never been an issue on any of our previous trips, so we are unsure if this is a new practice or if this was related to our location.

We were instructed to complete a survey of questions to confirm we were who we claimed we were. In order to get the survey, we had to provide an alternative email address where the survey would be sent. (Luckily, Kyle's work email was not effected.) The survey asked questions about emails we had sent recently, the subject line and addresses of those emails. So in a fog of jetlag and
Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore...Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore...Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore...

No, we are in an electronics store in The UAE!
sleep deprivation, we tried to remember correspondence. Ultimately, I opened Kyle's email and noted every email I had sent him or forwarded to him so I could identify the subject line of those random pre-trip emails. Despite my high degree of accuracy, it took four completed surveys, several nasty emails to microsoft and three days for me to gain access. Dad lost interest and has not read his email since we left the USA!

In an effort to get some information for Kyle in an unrelated issue, we attempted to log into Facebook. Unbelievable. We were denied access again. With a similar message of possible fraud or whatever, we were given another sort of test. We were given photos of people identified as our friends and had to complete a series of multiple choice questions to indicate who was in the photos. We were allowed to "skip" two of the multiple choice questions, but had to correctly answer at least five questions.

Talk about feeling exhausted by technological roadblocks!

We thought we had successfully hacked into our own accounts until we crossed the border into Oman. Here we go again...the same ridiculous demands! Only this time it is actually more complicated. In order to access our email accounts, we must confirm who we are by accepting a call or a text to our cell phone (to get a code). The problem with that is those precious phones are in the United States!

I guess the moral of this story is: we are not ignoring you, we are not dead, we are not held captive anywhere, our technology just outsmarted itself!


21st December 2014

Why can you get your blog out but can't use your emails?
22nd December 2014

Blog works overseas
The blog doesnt go through our email accounts-- doesnt have the same ridiculous fraud restrictions as microsoft. It is crazy!

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