Tag Archives: Personal Information

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.


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.

  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




Filed under Writing

When is too much personal info, well, too much?

I read an interesting writers blog the other day which questioned how much of ourselves we should and should not put out there on social media sites. Here’s the link: http://www.brendamoguez.com/manic-modays/how-much-is-too-much-to-confess/

I’ve questioned myself numerous times over the past 10 months since I decided to make this writing career the next chapter in my life. In order to have a solid career in writing you need a following; a fan base; readers. Although I’m well-known in my town, I need more than the local peeps to build this base, so I’ve entered the social media realm.

I started with a website, then branched over to Facebook and Twitter. I’m LinkedIn and tumble on Tumblr. I pin on Pinterest and Googleplus myself into a frenzy. Keeping up with all these sites is a lot of work, and it got me to thinking: When is publicly divulging too much information about yourself, well, too much? 

My blog has an About Me page that lists 10 things you may or may not know about me – or let’s face it – you may not even care to know about me! There are ten millions more things I could have listed on there, but didn’t. Things such as, I read every Agatha Christie book published before I was 12; I didn’t go on a date until I was 21 and didn’t know at the time he was married. Married! (The jerk!) I didn’t go to prom in high school because I was so fat and so unpopular, no one asked me. I started going gray at 16 because of a genetic link that causes premature graying. While this stuff may be interesting to the people who love me, is it really interesting to the general book buying public?

There are things about us which we all have that we really don’t want people to know about  because they’re a little too revealing. And let’s face it: a little too close to deflating that precious ego we all have.

I’ve read twitterfeeds that detail everything the tweeter is doing, from going to work, to arriving, to getting a coffee, to the stomach cramps they have from not eating. And my question is always “Who the heck cares?” Who cares if I’m stuck in traffic? Who cares if I have a dentist appointment? Really, is this information ANYONE- except maybe a stalker – would want to know?

I tend to keep a lot of information close to the vest. That’s just me. I don’t need to know everything about a person when I meet them. I enjoy finding about them as the relationship progresses. And truly, isn’t there something written somewhere about how being mysterious is intriguing and beguiling? I certainly think that’s true.

So the question of when is too much personal info too much is just that: personal. We each decide how much or how little of ourselves we want “out there.”

For me, I prefer to divulge a little at a time, and give away nothing I would be embarrassed to get parroted back to me. Well, that one thing about dating the married man may have been too much to tell. But really, he was a jerk and we only went on two dates. That was one way too many in hindsight.


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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women