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.
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.
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.
- Don’t panic ( yeah, you saw that one coming, didn’t you? heehee)
- 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
- 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,
- too, then hit SAVE.
- Exit out and sign out of your email then sign back in with your new password and you should be golden.
- Then, send a test email to someone and ask them to make sure your correct reply address is listed.
- 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