IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!
They say there is no feeling like success and achievement, especially in learning new things. Well how about learning new things from lousy experiences, or from circumstances where you always thought it would happen to someone else, but never happen to you? I believe today I am living a paradox of sorts. I have discovered this in the realm of internet security, and in particular, password security. I woke up early this morning, and I mean “early” like 2:40 on the AM side of things, simply because I had a scratchy dry throat. So I got up for some water, and a spoonful of honey. I decided while I was trying to relax, that I would go online. So like I always do I logged on to my MacBook Pro, just to take a look see at my emails, and to check on Facebook, where I found an interesting link that stimulated my thoughts for a new post. So off I went to my site, only to find that I had been hacked! Yes, me, hacked! Of all people, I was hacked! My WordPress blog is on my own domain, and someone had hacked into my WordPress admin and taken over my blog. Three of my postings had been hacked and modified, as was the name on the blog.
START TODAY – MODIFY YOUR PASSWORDS!
I just want to take the time today, at 4:09 EST, to tell you, guard your passwords, and change them, and don’t make them all the same. There are plenty of password generators out there, that are multi-platform, for both Mac & Windoze (my pun!). Don’t let your guard down, and protect your information, especially if you do a lot of things online in the first place. I am revamping my online security protocols. I know, I know, it sounds like I am the freakin’ CIA, but you have no idea how violated I feel right now. Someone has taken advantage of me, my information, my site where I exchange ideas and thoughts with all of you, the place where I interact with everyone in cyberspace.
DEAL WITH THE EMOTIONS & ACT RATIONALLY – CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOURS – THAT MEANS “PASSWORDS”!
It is a weird and very strange feeling, a feeling had once before in my life, when someone broke into my van and tried to steal it. At one time I worked with young offenders as an assistant program supervisor, and had to deal with young teens that had done multiple break-ins, and had to go to court with them as they faced charges, and heard witness statements. I remember hearing one woman stating that the emotional feelings she felt when she returned home late one night to find her home had been violated through an act of breaking in and entering and theft had been the very same kinds of feelings that had occurred a decade earlier, when she had in fact been sexually assaulted! She said it had stirred up all the emotions associated with the rape she had suffered. I remembered that when my van was broken into, and it did indeed feel like my person, my right to myself, my right to security of person and property had been violated. I could understand her and the emotions she described in court that day twenty-two years ago. That feeling at seeing my van in the state that it was in after the attempted theft, was a sickening feeling that never went away, until we sold the van. I can’t do anything quite like that to remedy the feelings I have right now, although I felt like rebuilding a whole new WordPress blog this morning. But I was able to correct and make changes and use the emergency.php script which is a handy script to keep in a secure place if you ever need an emergency login to your WordPress blog. I highly recommend it to anyone out there who has a WordPress blog on their own domain.
LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER – CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD LIKE YOU CHANGE YOUR UNDERWEAR!
So be forewarned. Make sure you have secure passwords, and change them once in a while, or invest in a password generator.
For WIndoze: Windows Version Tracker Site – Passoword Generator
You don’t have any idea how I don’t want you to experience the sense of violation and defilement and the loss of control over who I am and what I do online that I have experienced today. I am thankful for my faith in God, and that God even cares about what I do online, and about what is important to me as a person. This has helped me deal with the emotions that have surfaced today. My only concern is for anyone out there that loves using the Internet, and in particular if you have children that use it, or if you do business, or banking online, or if you just social network or blog, is that it be a secure and enjoyable and profitable experience for you. Changing your password regularly will be one of the sure things you can do for yourself that will give you peace of mind, and there is nothing like having peace of mind!
Enjoy the cyber life and all it has to offer, from all the social networking online, to doing business, from blogging and building sites to your heart’s content, but be safe! Use a password generator!
I have learned a very important lesson here.
PS: Don’t you just love cartoons that are funny but make a point, sort of a great irony that hits the funny bone and gives you a quick dose of reality, just when you need it most. I found a great cartoon, and Dilbert always seems to do that for me, gives me a giggle with sobriety! Well, here is a Dilbert cartoon that stresses the point!