I was hacked!
I feel invaded … and traumatised. My laptop is my personal domain. It contains notes to myself, music I like, business documents, personal mail, photos, etc. That someone else had access to all of this is the worst kind of invasion of privacy.
What am I talking about? Well I got up yesterday morning to find that I could not access my gmail and yahoo accounts. At first I assumed that perhaps there was a problem with those services or with my ISP. However, everything else seemed to be working. I could browse, I could use hotmail and ichat.
It was then that I decided to change my password on Yahoo and, after going through Yahoo’s security scenario, was able to access both Yahoo mail and Yahoo messenger.
That wasn’t so easy to do on GMail though. The message I got was that it would be done in 5 days. In this day and age? Anyway, I was busy throughout the day because we had the P@SHA AGM yesterday. It was only when I logged on in the evening on Yahoo, that I discovered that I had been hacked! “Someone” sent me a message saying “I see you are back on Yahoo … do you want your gmail back?” I responded that I did and of course demanded to know who this person was.
Would you believe that I was told that he was an admirer? That he was very impressed with all that I had done at P@SHA and for the IT industry … and he just wanted to talk to me. Since I wouldn’t acknowledge messages from strangers, he had to get my attention somehow. I was naturally livid and told him that this was not the correct way of getting anyone’s attention. I asked him if he knew how much trouble and anguish he had caused. He apologised and gave me back my gmail account.
I don’t understand such behaviour at all. This “attack” motivated me to change my passwords, run Anti-spyware software and set up a Firewall. But do I feel safe? No. It is like the time someone took my mobile away from me at gunpoint. It took me forever to feel safe again. I eyed everyone I saw with suspicion and no longer felt like the carefree person I am.
I wish people who play such pranks could understand how much damage they cause emotionally. By invading my space, this person has made me feel unsafe and violated. I hope that if he really has an iota of respect and admiration for me, he will never pull this kind of stunt on anyone again.
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