Why is my mail asking for the POP password?

Earlier this evening I sent an email from my Mac’s Mail program. I wanted to send an email to a friend, relating The Bad Dream, which was posted elsewhere. Rather than link to the thread, I searched for it and found it here: http://www.creepypasta.com/the-bad-dream/

The mail was sent, but when I opened Mail it tried to retrieve new mail. A window popped up saying I had to enter my POP account password. I don’t remember ever getting this window before. How could my mail program ‘forget’ the password? Could opening the creepypasta link have done something, even though my Mail program wasn’t open at the time?

I repaired disc permissions (nothing to repair) and restarted my computer. I’m still getting the password request when opening Mail. Also, when I restarted I got the Auto Update window telling me that there’s an update for Safari.

Is it coincidence that I’m being asked for my POP password after visiting a strange site? Is it coincidence that I’m getting the Auto Update upon restarting my computer? Or is something nefarious going on?

Rather than entering my password in the box, I opened Preferences|Accounts and re-entered it there. I’m no longer getting the dialogue box. But it seems to be taking some time to check for mail. I’m getting timeouts. I’m running Macscan (7 tracking cookies found, no spyware files or processes discovered so far – but it has a way to go), and that might be slowing it down. But browsing isn’t affected, so that’s weird.

Google says there’s nothing harmful on that site.

There was a Safari update to 5.0.3 on November 20th. Perhaps you have your Software Update set to check only infrequently?

That’s good to know. Mail is working correctly this morning.

I think Auto Update is set for monthly. I’m using a non-Intel G4, so I haven’t had a Safari update in quite some time. I’m running 4.1.1, and I don’t think this machine will handle 5.x.x. I don’t remember the version on the update, but I’m pretty sure it was 4.something.

I get that same thing occasionally; there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it, it just pops up. I re-start the email program, and it goes away. I don’t know what it’s about, either - none of my valid passwords make it go away.