The horror and heartache of getting hacked!

I always try to learn from the bad things that happen to me and boy-o-boy did I learn a valuable lesson yesterday.

Yesterday, on a beautiful, hot and sunny Sunday, while I was attempting to edit my upcoming Christmas book, my email account was hacked.

Hacked.

What a horrible word that is.

I had no idea and would never have known had my daughter not texted me that she received a weird email from me about needing help. She sent me a screen shot of the email. This is it:

She texted me immediately saying “YOU GOT HACKED.” How did she know? Anyone who is close to me knows that, 1. I would never ask for a favor in an email, and, 2. I would never sign off like that: Awaiting your response. It just doesn’t sound like me at all. 3. My email return name was wrong.

I’d like to tell you that I took the bull by the horns immediately and dealt with it like the organized, take no nonsense gal I like to think I am.

Nope.

First response? Panic. Widespread, stress-sweat producing panic. Like, my daughter had to literally talk me off a ledge panic.

Yeah, I’m a little embarrassed at how crazed I was.

When I got down from the ledge, it took about two hours of figuring out what to do to fix the hack, then notify everyone, while I was simultaneously getting numerous text messages, instant messages, and facebook calls about the email asking if I was okay. I think I typed I’ve been hacked 1,000,000 times today.

So, because I always like to learn from the bad stuff that happens to me, here are a few things I learned today.

  1. Don’t panic ( yeah, you saw that one coming, didn’t you? heehee)
  2. Immediately, change your password to your email. But don’t stop there. I found out that you need to do one more step, and that’s change who gets the reply. I sent an email to my daughter after signing in under the new password and she called and said the “reply to” was still the hacker, so I had to change this setting. Here’s how ya do it: a. sign into your email. Go to SETTINGS. Go to MORE SETTINGs, Click on MAILBOXES, Click on your mailbox list, scroll down to REPLY-TO Address
  3. YOu will see your address and the hacker’s. Delete the hacker’s address, scroll down to FORWARDING and you will probably have to delete the hacker’s address from there,
  4. too, then hit SAVE.
  5. Exit out and sign out of your email then sign back in with your new password and you should be golden.
  6. Then, send a test email to someone and ask them to make sure your correct reply address is listed.
  7. Lastly, go change every other password if it’s the same as the one you use for your email. Yeah, I know you’re not supposed to have only 1 but most people do.

It took about 3 -4 hours before I stopped shaking and calmed down totally to realize that I wasn’t the first, and unfortunately won’t be the last, person that this happened/happens to.

New rule of thumb: change all my passwords quarterly and never assign the same one to the important accounts.

A quick thank you from  the bottom of my heart to all the people who notified me yesterday of the weird email they rec’d from me. Bless you all for following thru and letting me know.

Now, I’m gonna go get a Cosmo.

Maybe more than one.

Be vigilant, peeps. Until next time  ~ Peg

 

21 Comments

Filed under Writing

21 responses to “The horror and heartache of getting hacked!

  1. mrsnnnlight

    I’m so glad I was able to help, Peg. I know how horrifying it is to get hacked. Great advice, too. Take care, hun, and I hope you had a couple of cosmos. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on http://www.ginabriganti.com and commented:
    In case of hacking.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is a horrible word and practice. I’m glad you got it handled.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. An unsettling experience…and that is to stay the least. Take care, Peggy 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Jennifer Zander Wilck

    I had no idea this happened to you and I’m so sorry it did. Thanks for all the great advice–I’m saving it for the future. And have some chocolate!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So happy you were able to resolve the situation, Peg. And I try not to panic either. Not good for the B.P. 😉 Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Anna Taylor Sweringen

    Thanks for sharing, Peggy. So sorry it happened but glad you were able to put the creep in check.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yikes! I’m so sorry that happened to you. Thank you for putting out the directions for fixing return/forwarding addresses after a spammer strikes. I didn’t know that. I hope you are calmer this morning! Take care my friend!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Peggy, my heart is with you. I got hacked–do you remember when the big hack hit the states and thousands, millions, actually were affected? I had people calling me left and right and face booking or emailing me, plus oodles of other contacts, telling me that I was hacked. One of my friends, who I worked with years ago, got so scared she went to her bank to make sure her accounts were OK. I was hacked on both my personal Facebook, Bev Lewis, and my pen name, Beverly Wells, even my other sites got hacked. Before I knew it hundreds of people were telling me I was hacked. It took an act of God and how many more I’m not sure to straighten my sites out. I returned to FB after 1 yr. and got hacked again, so…I haven’t been on it since. I’ll have another book out soon, and I’m hoping I can return to FB. Have all new passwords, etc, new computer, new security and I can only pray I can once again converse on several social media platforms that I’ve missed terribly. Best wishes to you in correcting your sites. I just wish I could confront those who do such hateful things. No rhyme or reason, I guess. Best of luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Peggy Jaeger

      Beverly – that is truly horrible and I’m sorry it happened to you. One thing so many people have been telling me is to use google ( gmail) instead of yahoo. I actually have both but so much is invested in yahoo tht it would take a miracle to change everything. Also, change passwords every 4-6 months is what i’m being told and will def. do this!
      Be well. Good luck with the book launch

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Good to know about the second step. I’d never hears that before. I heard hacking has gotten worse since the pandemic hit. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

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