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.


Hen Jen said...

wow, I'm pretty new to twitter, I would have no idea what to do if I was hacked! thanks for the warning.

Nancy Hniedziejko (Nancy Ehrlich) said...

Thanks for the comment! If it ever happens to you, contact me. I'm a pro now!