Learn Something New Every Day!

Oh No! I’ve Been Hacked!

Well, this has never happened to me before.  My personal email account was hacked and spam email was sent out, making it look like it came from me. I received email from myself on one of my other accounts that I did not send!  I received a ton of bounce-backs from email that could not be delivered that I did not send.  The ones that got through to people had a different version of my email address, no subject line, and the only message was a link.  If clicked on, that link led to something about Viagra, I think.  One friend did open it—and then asked if I were trying to sell Viagra online as a money-making venture.  NO! 

I knew this sort of thing happened.  A few years ago, at work, the district’s chancellor’s email sent some racy messages to most everyone on campus (thousands of people).  But I never thought it would happen to me!  I was careful.  I had good passwords (not typical things like birthdays and such, involved a combination lower and upper case and numbers). I did not open emails from addresses I did not know.  I did not click on links to much of anything in an email unless it came from a trusted friend.  I always keep spam filters and security programs current and working. In response to this incident, a couple friends who know more than I about such matters said that changing my password should stop the problem.  I hope so. 

In response to this problem, one of my nephews shared this website about things all of us could do to keep our computers as protected as possible, and I thought I would share it with you.  It is Ed Bott’s Stay Safe Online: 5 Secrets Every PC (and Mac) Owner Should Know.  But I am also writing to say, “Sorry!”  If you were on the receiving end of my hacked account, I hope nothing more problematic or drastic happened to you.  This is certainly NOT the sort of reach-out-and-touch campaign I would ever advocate.  So, please, learn from my experience and stay extra vigilant about your system’s security.

In light of my attempt to find things to be thankful for, I will share the following:

  1. I am thankful no further damage was done; at least so far it seems fairly self-contained.
  2. I am thankful for friends who responded quickly to alert me to the problem and make suggestions on how to make corrections.
  3. I am still thankful for email, since it offers such a quick way to connect with people, even if we need to be really careful.
  4. I am thankful that I can see the irony of warning you earlier in this post about problems via the Internet by saying, “Here click on this link.  Really. You can trust me!”
  5. I am thankful it is Friday—and that I have some good chocolate in the house!
  6. I am thankful for the cute little book Go the F%&k to Sleep—since it reminds us how life typically unfolds and that we usually have very little control over much of anything. 

 * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”  Albert Einstein

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

“Any idiot can face a crisis—it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out.”  Anton Chekhov


Comments on: "Oh No! I’ve Been Hacked!" (6)

  1. LOL That explains it! I’m glad the link wasn’t virus just that viagra/ cialis web site.. no harm done. When I was hacked a number of years ago they sent out porn and my account was shut down by the web server until I could prove it wasn’t me that sent it. It can happen to anyone!

  2. Well I’m feeling a little put out because I haven’t gotten a single dirty email from you or anyone else!

    Of course I’m just kidding. That stinks, but I’m sure glad it wasn’t worse. Thanks for sharing the tips, too.

    • HA! I am glad it wasn’t worse too. But now that I know you are feeling left out, I will explore what magazines I can sign you up for! My nephew sent me the tips–he is always my go-to guy; in fact, when I asked about doing a blog, he directed me to several places including wordpress.

  3. Ooops, sorry to hear that.

    As soon as I got to know that my mail was hacked, I sent out a distress message to all my contacts. Not sure, how many of them received some dirty mails from me as everybody was quite polite to say it openly. 😉

    But on second thought, does it happen to all of us?
    I guess so.

    • Thanks for sharing. I did think aboout sending out an oops-sorry email, but then it seemed rather counter productive to send an email about an earlier suspicious email. If they had noticed it, would they read another? if they had not noticed, why worry. At least it just seemed to be spam, not a virus, etc. Small miracles.

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