Monday, August 29, 2011

Hacked!

I always wonder about people whose email accounts get hacked. I mean, how naive do you have to be to click on links from strangers? Or strange links from friends?

Now it's happened to me. At 4 am Sunday spam emails went out to pretty much my entire list on my old AOL account.

I swear I never clicked on any link myself. And I never got sucked in by any phishing scam where I gave up my personal info to the wrong people. I understand some of these emails just have to be opened to spread a virus or plant a worm. But I don't think that's it either.

Maybe I entered a password over an unsecured wifi network out in public? Who knows.

It was pretty embarrassing, and I spent my Sunday morning trying to lock things down and warn as many people as possible by email and Facebook. The most embarrassing thing, of course, is having an AOL account at all. But I mostly use it when I need to give an email address on some website -- so I get notifications, newsletters, retail offers, etc., through AOL.

So my clients think I suck. That's too bad. And people I haven't been in touch with for a decade got a weird reminder of my existence. One good thing, at least: the contact list was so old I got scores of bouncebacks.

Lesson: keep your contacts clean. Get rid of anybody you haven't talked to in years and have no intention of talking to. Hell, delete them all if you're using another (more reliable) provider, like I usually do.

I hope I'm out of the woods ...

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