So I’m sure it was just a matter of time before something like this happened. I woke up today, bleary-eyed, let the dogs out, made a latte, and looked at my email. Now not the email I use for the blog, but my personal Gmail account – complete with business contacts was hacked. Now after “looked at email” insert swearing like a sailor and you have a complete picture. I was so angry. I was beyond angry.
I did some investigation and this is pretty common. What happened to me happened to this guy here. Here’s another good account of the perils of email.
DH told me that the spam filters must’ve caught it for him as he didn’t see it. A friend emailed me and told me she saw it. I asked a few folks I’m friends with at work and checked my own work account as I send stuff between and nothing. Whew! on that one. I was really only worried about a few work contacts that may see me in less then flattering light. Finally all those acquaintances… sorry. Hope my fleece now and in the future won’t be held hostage. Hope they have good spam filters.
Anyway, I took the first guy’s advice and deleted all my contacts and everything out of my Gmail accounts. I’ve spent the better part of the evening changing passwords of everything I can think of. I’m running three programs to protect my laptop and have been re-scanning and scanning again to check for spy-ware. Nothing.
Anyway, what really kills me is if you Google “hacking” and insert any online mail client like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo… they will give you full and complete instructions on how to hack, write spam-bots, and do all sorts of damage to email accounts.
Finally what to do in the future. Stick with Gmail? Go to Hushmail? Send pigeons? Well, I need to change my password more often for sure. I got comfortable. Set aside an hour or two of my life every 90 days and make a list of everything that has a password and go out and change it. Then what? For now I may just stick with Gmail and keep deleting my mail and contacts. So if you don’t hear from me… I may have accidentally deleted your contact or email in my effort to wipe the slate clean. Sorry. So, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go off and learn a completely bizarre totally secure password now. Maybe in repition while I’m knitting.