I’m a creature of habit and routine. Each morning, I take the dog out, make a cup of coffee and then, check my email. This Sunday was no different, except I had a bunch of emails from Twitter. I thought I must have tweeted something great as my inbox was filled with “direct messages.” Cool! I wondered what I had said that inspired so many responses. I thought I would take a quick look before I started the second part of my Sunday morning routine, which was doing lesson plans, grading and updating my website. Oh… how I wish I had waited to check. Darn routines!
My emails were from very confused people. They weren’t angry, but they wanted to know why I was sending out spam messages. Others suspected that my account had been compromised and wanted to warn me. I had been hacked!
During the time I have been on Twitter I have seen people tweet about hacked accounts. I’ve seen the “phishing” tweets and I have even sent the occasional DM or tweet telling others that I thought they had been hacked. I always re-tweet any warnings that I find. I’ve done my civic Twitter duty. Then, I would happily move along. Today I learned empathy. I will not be blasé again.
Granted that in the scope of my life, having my Twitter account hacked is not cataclysmic. On the other hand, I sincerely value the people I follow and who follow me. I’m a person who follows the rules and plays fair. At times, I have been told that I am a bit naïve when I expect others to play nicely, too. Similar to my teaching style, I expect the best from people. Throughout the morning as I re-set my password, revoked all permissions, I tried to identify my unsettled feeling.
I know what is I was feeling. I’m hurt that I was hacked. I resent the time it took me to check everything. I didn’t like feeling embarrassed and defensive as if I did something wrong. I didn’t want to inconvenience my followers.
As the morning progressed, the wonderful people on Twitter came through and supported my faith! First, @tonnet gave me some great advice. Then @blairteach, @FishMath and @Kidlutions took the time to check my Twitter page and reassure me that they knew I had been hacked. So many others either sent me direct messages or mentioned me so I would know what was happening. I felt enveloped in their empathy and support. At one point when I tweeted again that I had been hacked and warned others not to open any DMs from me, @TWRCtankcom and @Koolkat222 both reassured me that they hadn’t received anything from me. This was great news and meant that not EVERY one of my followers had received spam. Also, @mashable had a great post to help everyone. Check it out: New Twitter Phishing Attack: “You’re On Here?” [WARNING]. (I know he didn't write it for me, but it was really good timing.)
So I decided that today was a good day. Certainly, the inconvenience to my followers and me was not enjoyable. My faith in people, although momentarily shaken, was not broken. As a third grade teacher, I spend a large part of the school year teaching about communities. Today my Twitter community helped me deal with the nuisance of hackers and spammers. Thanks everyone.