Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I've Been Hacked!

If you recently got an email from me (at my Hotmail account) offering you either:
1. A great way to earn money from home
2. A plea for money because I'm stranded without my wallet at a hotel in Europe
3. An offer to sell you a magical product that will enhance a part of your body
It's not me. I've been hacked! Thanks to the people who sent me emails notifying me of this sad development.
And yet, I feel fortunate, for I was hacked at my Hotmail account, which I abandoned years ago as my primary account, and only used for dumb websites that required me to supply an email address.
Also, a few months back I read a quite chilling account of email hacking in an article in the Atlantic, (read it - it will scare you too!) and was frightened enough to change my password (from the one my Gmail account used to share with my Hotmail account - oops) and to try and back up my email. For whatever reason, I couldn't get it to work properly.
The greatest danger of hacking isn't that my friends will wire money to Uganda. Rather, it's the loss of critical information. Because hackers - once they're into your account, will usually just delete it all and start sending mass emails.
Think about it this way: how much of your critical personal information - not only stuff that identifies you and is the gateway to your money - but the stuff you need and use to function in today's digital world? If you lost your main email account, how much of your life's history would be gone?
For me, it's a lot. Which is why:
1. I changed my password yet again.
2. I'll take the time to properly backup my email.
I strongly recommend that you do the same.