I thought it was going to be a normal, fairly easy day. Boy, was I wrong!
Instead, I spent the greater part of the day tracking and catching up with people who had received a fake email from me stating that I was being held at gunpoint in Ukraine. The email stated I needed funds and of course, how to send them to “help me”. Wow! What a hassle in dealing with a hacked email account.
As many of you know by now, my email account was hacked this morning. I’ve had my identity stolen a couple of times and this is almost as bad. To make the best of the situation, here are a couple of lessons I’ve learned from this whole ordeal.
Check The Original Source.
I got an email from “Yahoo” that said my account had been compromised and to click a link to reset. I should have signed-out of my account instead of following the “link”. Anything that asks you to reset a password from an email cannot be trusted. If you are asked to reset it, log-out first and then reset.
Keep Your Passwords Strong.
We all know this but hackers are smart. Changing up your password to make it words or numbers that don’t really fit together is the best idea, along with mixing capital and lower case letters. Something like dogBills24 would be considered a strong password.
Reset Passwords Immediately.
If you feel your account has been hacked, reset it your password immediately. This needs to be done with alacrity and it’s probably a good idea to change other accounts where you may be employing the same password. This will require patience and time but it’s worth it.
Store Important Info Offline.
For convenience sake, we like to store info online and admittedly it is nice to have most info at our fingertips. However, there is some info that is best kept offline in a written form. Things like passport info, credit card numbers (not stored on secure servers) and other information that may be critical left in an email folder needs to be deleted and stored in a hard copy. I had some flight information stored in a couple of folders in my email and when this all went down today, it sent a shock through my system!
Furthermore, all my contacts were erased! This presents a whole other issue in recovering people’s info and hours of re-entires. Not sure if I will really go that far but needless to say, it’s a great loss to lose thousands of people’s emails. Another reason to back-up and store offline on other hard drive.
Needless to say, I am still in the process of trying to secure all my stuff and convey to everyone what has happened. Thanks to all of you who notified me and inquired of my well-being. Hopefully, this is the last time something like this will happen to me (and I hope it never happens to you)!