Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I'm Totally Hacked Off

Picture it: Mother's Day with my kids and their spouses, enjoying a lovely meal along with a glass of fine wine. I'm feeling mellow and happy until...

Daughter checks her phone and announces-"Mom, your Facebook has been hacked. Your account is sending out friend requests to all your contacts."

What? What? What? Talk about a mood killer. And on Mother's Day yet.

First of all, I'm far more a lurker than a poster on Facebook. I like to read what's going on with everyone and often will click the "Like" button. Simple and easy. That's pretty much all I do. I can't imagine why anyone would waste their time trying to hack my account, but someone surely did.

Damage control consisted of Daughter posting a message warning people not to accept a friend request from me (I was too flabbergasted to do it myself, or maybe too woozy from the wine). Then I changed my password and, on the advice of Daughter's hubby who IS tech-savvy, changed the passwords on my email and just about every other place I visit that needs a password. I beefed up my Facebook security levels and hope that does the trick.

I feel a bit like Typhoid Mary, without the typhoid or the Mary, of course. A few people "Unfriended" me completely over this mess. Geez, it really wasn't my fault, people.

Anyway, I felt the need to hunt for advice on staying cyber-safe and found out some scary facts. Did you know there are numerous websites that teach you HOW to hack someone's Facebook account? I guess you can find ways to commit any sort of crime on the internet. So to keep us all a little safer, here are a few tips:
  • Create a strong password (letters, numbers, symbols) and change it regularly.
  • Don't use the same password for multiple sites.
  • Never click on a link unless you're 100% sure it's safe (that includes links in email!)
  • On Facebook, if you're already friends with someone, and receive a new request from them, check with the friend before accepting or just say "no" to the request because this is typically a hack attack. (Note-alerting the friend is helpful, since it may be the first clue a hack has occurred so damage control can begin)
If you have any other tips on how to stay safe from a hacker's scummy shenanigans, please post in your comment. Hacked off people want to know.


Sherry said...

I am so sorry this happened to you but beyond grateful for the information. Even though it felt like a crummy thing to happen on Mother's Day, you were fortunate to have loving help on hand.
Off to change some passwords right away!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Oh, wow. So sorry that happened to you. I'm a bad one for passwords because I just don't remember them, but I see the benefit of changing them and adding symbols, etc. just to make it harder on the creeps who hack accounts. I haven't done that in a while, though. Guess maybe it's time to put it on my to-do list. Thanks for the reminder.

Fireblossom said...

That's horrible! Thanks for the tips.

BECKY said...

What shocks me the most about this is that some people actually UNFRIENDED you because of it?? They must not be very Facebook savvy and/or not real friends! Thanks for your frequent visits to my blog, Pat! I would NEVER unfriend you for ANY reason! :)

Sketching with Dogs said...

I am the most paranoid person on earth when it comes to the internet.
That must have been a horrible shock when your account got hacked.
Lynne x

Saku said...

That's annoying! I must admit I don't always use different passwords because I can't remember them and don't want to write them down. This is a reminder I should at least change them every so often.

Hope things have been straightened out.

Tammy said...

I've been hacked before, and what I've learned about it gives me chills. So sorry you've had to deal with this.

Lynn said...

I'm not sure if I was hacked, but FB sent me a message saying that someone tried to get into my account and they didn't think it was me, so I needed to change my password. I'm like you, I don't do much on FB and can't imagine why people want to do such things... apparently hacking is a BIG profitable business. I think it's sick. Also, liked the bird nest and that's funny about your cat... getting your dinner, well, how you worded it. Sounds like a story to me...

Unknown said...

I've gone through this before too, Pat. It's horrifying and time consuming. I had to change/close credit cards because of it. So sorry you went through this -- and thanks for the tips. Also, just a thought (and I don't know the answer to this -- I'm pretty tech challenged too) but do you think those 'unfriends' were actually that, or were they generated by the hack attack?

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

That just sucks. I don't get why someone would do that!