I'm just sayin'

Apologies All Around

on June 25, 2012

It happened. I was the victim of an email hacker. It resulted in two ways, One sent an email from my email address with a link. No other text, just the link.  And the other way I was hacked was the hacker or hackerette sent out an offensive email to just the contacts in my friends file, I think.  As far as I know,  my family members didn’t receive it. I think they’d say something to me if they had received it. You know the type of email if you are an avid email checker.  But  just in case you’re not sure if you’ve  received a suspicious email from someone you know, let me explain.

There’s the type of  email you get that looks as if it is coming from your friend, Betty Sue’s, email address. And in the subject line it says, Margarita Party and you know Betty Sue doesn’t drink. There’s a clue there. Do Not Open the email and if you have opened it let’s hope you did not click on the link, thinking, ‘what’s that crazy Betty Sue up to sending me to a Margarita Party!’  Then BAM you’re hit in the face with a pharmaceutical ad for breast enhancing drugs or enhancement to other parts of your body with just a pill. Wow, that’s convenient.  I do not know what happens if you go further than viewing the ad because, I have never done that. Once I opened the email and saw just the link I knew my friend did not send that email. I think, most people would have figured out that Betty Sue did not send this to to them and did not go further. I’d like to hear from anyone who has, well, wait a minute, maybe I don’t want an email from them!

Another email hacker scam is the one my cousin recently experienced. Everyone in her contact list got an email from ‘her’. The email was written well and it stated that she ( my cousin ) was in London and her purse had been stolen her passport was in it, her cell phone and all her money. Help. Please send $$$ to Western Union and gave an address. My cousin called me before I had a chance to open any email that morning. So the wording is not verbatim but you get the gist. Sadly, there was a time in our lives where my cousin may have been stuck in London and she would have been envied by some. It’s  really not too difficult to conjure up a picture of my cousin stranded in another country all alone with no money, no identification, asking for help. Luckily though, it was not her because I would have been ticked off if she’d gone without me!

Then there’s another way to get hacked and that is to send emails with offensive pictures or text or a cross between Mel Gibson/Ted Kaczynski style crap,  to all your contacts. I had that one happen to me. I received an email from a friend I only stay in touch with via email – we had mutual friends years back. And he wanted me to know the email I sent with the offensive racial content was not something he wanted to read. That was the first person to let me know they’d received it. He asked me if I was on meds?  Well, I checked my sent file to see if I had by some weird, out-of-body margarita moment sent anything like that. Nope. Not there. Phew.  But for the first time I saw a red #1 in the tool bar of my Yahoo account under notifications – I’ve never seen that before – so i clicked on it and it said there had been some suspicious activity on my email account and I could click on their link and look at my log in history. Hum, didn’t know I could do that. So I did. And lo and behold I could see that someone in Poland had accessed my account. So While I’m sleeping away someone in Poland is taking the time and effort to send crap to people I know. What’s up with that? And what’s the point. I don’t get it. I’m not sure what the hacker gets out of it. But it got a rise out of an old friend and not in a good way.

Yahoo advises to periodically change your password. Guilty. I had not been doing that. I am now and plan to mix the passwords up on a regular basis. In the past I have been guilty of using the same password for several accounts. Not anymore. The same with your security questions, you should choose different ones now and then. I was just asked to name my favorite restaurant as my security question. That’s a little different than your mother’s maiden name which other people would know, every bank asks it. Every loan application. So it doesn’t hurt to be a little on the defensive in the case of on-line security. It’s not just yourself you’re protecting.


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