Sunday, March 21

I'm Hurt I've Been Hacked

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.