On getting hacked

Desert lavender
This has nothing to do with my post, but it’s such a beautiful desert lavender plant in our yard I had to share.

I had an issue with my emails and wrote about it HERE last week. I was afraid I was hacked. Or in the very least someone was playing fast and loose with my email address. I set up a new email account and so far everything is going peachy.

But then I heard from someone today that their bank account got hacked. Listen to this: someone got into their bank account online and changed the user name and password so they couldn’t access their account! Then the hacker transferred money out using Zelle. This friend didn’t even use Zelle. But. if a person can get your username and password by hacking into your computer, they can turn on Zelle.

I found a few articles about the scam. Here’s a quote from one:

Stealing money using Zelle is apparently as easy as adding a phone number to a consumer’s checking account, and then telling the bank to “Zelle” money to a hacker-controlled account — at least in some cases.

When following up my story earlier this week about consumers who don’t even use Zelle get hit by Zelle fraud, a bank official told me that’s how it’s done. Criminals — potentially using stolen online banking credentials or credential stuffing attacks — add a cell phone they control to the user’s profile, then send money to the hacker’s account.

After the hacker’s mobile number is added to the bank account, the banks’ confirmation code to verify the transaction is misdirected to that fraudulent number, and the hacker confirms the transaction. So once the account is compromised, a fraudster is able to transfer money out of the account.

https://bobsullivan.net/cybercrime/heres-how-hackers-are-using-zelle-to-raid-bank-accounts-and-why-victim-was-out-1800-until-i-wrote-to-the-bank/

I decided that changing my password wasn’t enough. I turned on two-factor authentication.

Have you ever had a credit card, bank account or email account hacked? What did you do about it?

Bombarded with junk

junk email
One of the many hundreds of junk emails I got today.

I hate email. Not all the time, but often enough.

Today my inbox is flooded with subscription confirmations like the one above.Which makes me wonder if my email has been hacked? I’m literally getting thousands of emails in all languages from random companies asking me to confirm my subscription request.

What is up with that?

Of course I can only read the ones in English. They are addressed to all sorts of different people, none of them me, but they state the subscription request came from my email address.

It makes me nervous that I have been hacked, have a virus or someone is out peddling my email address.

Here’s another one. I’m not Glen Veum.

Has anything like this happened to you? How did you stop it? Should I create a new email address?

Do you think I’ve been hacked?

I had to laugh…

macbook air grey logo on laptop
Photo by Marc Mueller on Pexels.com

I did it. I ordered a new MacBook Air. After losing files due to some software glitch, I tried to update the operating system on my current machine. I was given a message that there wasn’t enough memory. So I’m stuck with the glitch.

I called my computer expert (my son) and he informed me the amount of storage on my MacBook Air was less than what he had on his phone. With more files disappearing including my manuscript from NaNoWriMo (I wrote about that HERE) I was feeling desperate.

I went back and forth on which laptop to buy — the MacBook Pro or Air. How much RAM and storage. I finally settled on the Air and maxed it out. I like the light weight of the Air compared to the heaviness of the Pro.

Anyway, the only thing that was available immediately was the standard MacBook Air, which I knew wouldn’t last long due to not enough memory. I’ve been waiting patiently for a couple weeks for my souped up laptop to arrive. I got an email that it will arrive today.

I had to laugh.

Did you see the announcement from Apple? They are introducing a BRAND SPANKING NEW MacBook Air that is lightyears and decades superior to the one I’m getting today. But of course.

It has a better chip, more RAM, a better screen — better everything.

Oh well. I don’t care. I just want my work to be backed up, And not to have my work disappear before my very eyes. I did get an email from Apple that they lowered the price on my new computer and will refund me the difference. So there’s that.

What are your thoughts about Apple and how they roll out new products?

Screenshot of the brand new MacBook Air introduced this week.

Not to dwell…

The baby quail are delightful to watch. They get my mind off the unpleasant.

So. Apple contacted me at 7 a.m. yesterday. Just like they said they would. However the news was not good. At least the customer service was excellent with the tech keeping his word on when he’d call. He followed up with me several times throughout the process.

If you missed my post yesterday you can read it HERE to learn what happened.

“It looks like they have recovered all available files that could be recovered. They also stated that they will have no other ways to recover the data if it is still 
missing,” he said.

I looked through my computer to see what files they were able to recover. I noticed three and four copies of the files already there. So now I have a mess to clean up.

I felt a mourning loss for my work. I don’t look forward to my next newsletter that I have to start without the use of the two published newsletters to use as templates.

My son told me something I’ve never heard before. Ernest Hemingway lost 10 years of his work. It was all in one briefcase that he left on a train in France.

I’m not the only one to lose a manuscript. And it happened before computers and the cloud. Who knew?

“Did you know that D.H. Lawrence never edited his drafts?” My son told me. “He threw it out if he didn’t like it and started over.”

He told me to look at my NaNoWriMo missing manuscript as an opportunity, not a loss.

Thinking about that, he may be right. I get too married to my first rough draft. I make little edits here and there on later drafts, but I never get to the meat of throwing out scenes or restructuring my plot. I’ve submitted manuscripts to agents and publishers and have gotten interest. I’ve been given suggestions and have been asked for rewrites. But, after I resubmitted, I’d hear that I didn’t go far enough.

Do you find the silver lining in your mishaps? When life gives you lemons, do you make lemonade? Can you give an example?

Where did it go?

Mule deer
A mule deer I saw on my morning walk.

When I sat down at my laptop yesterday morning something didn’t look right. The folder on my desktop called “All My Files” wasn’t there. It was there before I went to sleep. Gone 10 hours later.

I googled how to restore files. How to find files. Apparently the OS I’m using can hide documents from view. I went through five ways to find my files. I went to icloud. My missing files are still missing.

Finally. I went to the Apple website to book an appointment at the local “genius bar.” Instead I clicked on “call.” They called within seconds. I spent more than three hours on the phone yesterday with two techs. They searched near and far and in the cloud for my files. They both asked me if I had backed up my files on a thumb drive or external hard drive.

“No.”

What was I thinking about? Why didn’t I? I realized it had to do with our move. My two external hard drives that used to sit by my computer at home….didn’t make it back to that handy place where I used them. Out of sight. Out of mind.

I found my bright orange La Cie external hard drive and it’s now sitting next to my computer. I won’t make the mistake thinking my computer automatically stores all my files on icloud. Some files are there. But the ones most important to me are not. My entire NaNoWriMo 50,000-word manuscript is gone. My newsletter files are gone. There’s a gap of a few days in May when I finished the newsletter that are missing. There’s a month when I wrote the manuscript that is gone.

I had both of these files open on my laptop. Where did they go?

I’ve learned my lesson to make copies and backups.

My case with Apple has been escalated to engineering. They “may” be able to restore my hard drive with all my files. Or they may not.

I’ll let you know tomorrow. In any case they were very helpful and didn’t chastise me for not backing up. But I learned my lesson. What’s left is backed up.

A mule deer catching afternoon shade against our fence. The mulies have nothing to do with my post today — except keep me calm with their beauty.

How often do you backup your computer? Have you experienced a computer snafu that stressed you out? What was it?

Too many emails

brother and sister photo
My brother and me before anyone had heard of emails.


Is anyone else suffering from a deluge of emails? I get hundreds every day.

I scan through them and delete them in batches of 100 or more. I can’t go through them one by one. It would take up hours each day.

Then I end up deleting the one or two emails that were important.

My son set me up with an email program that had folders that emails automatically went into. For example, all the WordPress emails ended up in the “Social” folder. My inbox would be small and manageable. Unfortunately, this savvy email program went belly up.

So, I’m back to wading through the dredges of advertisements. I find it annoying.

I feel like all the ads we get is defeating the value of emails. I unsubscribe, but the emails keep coming. I’ve never successfully unsubscribed from anything.

What are your thoughts on email? Do you have the same issue with too many and losing the important ones in the crowd? Any suggestions or solutions?

No can do

black and white book business close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Have you ever said the phrase “No can do?” I have and I remember a song from my college days that had those words in the chorus.

I ran across a story from the University of Washington that went viral because of their list of “problematic” words they produced for people in IT. It’s called “IT Inclusive Language Guide: A reference for software and other information technology content.” Here’s a link if you want to peruse the problem words.

I graduated from the U-Dub, as did my brother, mom, dad, aunt and two cousins. I’m proud of my alma mater normally. But today, not so much.

Without getting overly political, I feel censorship is getting out of hand. I don’t think it’s a one-sided issue, but it’s coming at us from all sides.

Changing our language and letting us know what words can and cannot be used I view as a type of censorship.

First, the list divided the offensive words into four distinct areas:

  • Race, Ethnicity, Nationality, Religion, Native/Indigenous Identity
  • Disability and Ableism
  • Ageism
  • Gender and sexual orientation

Grandfather makes the list of problematic words:

A “grandfather” clause, “grandfather” policy or “grandfathering” in IT s a provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations while a new rule will apply to all future cases. Those exempt from the new rule are said to have grandfather rights, acquired rights, or to have been grandfathered in.

Why it’s problematic:

“Grandfathering” or “grandfather clause” was used as a way to exempt some people from a change because of conditions that existed before the change (e.g., we’ve grandfathered some users on an unlimited data plan.”) “Grandfather clause” originated in the American South in the 1890s as a way to defy the 15th Amendment and prevent black Americans from voting.

They don’t like the phrase “brown bag lunch” either. I always thought it referred to the brown paper bag that I used to put my sandwich and apple in for school lunches. I didn’t know brown bag was referencing skin color. In fact whoever wrote this list, says it does — I’m not buying it. The damn paper bag has a brown color. That’s it.

No can do.

Other offensive words are mantra, cakewalk, ninja, guru, redline, peanut gallery and jerry-rigged. Oh yes, and the expression “no can do.”

Thoughts? Do you think the UW is going too far with their list of problem words? Or, do you think we need to be more sensitive? Do you view changing our language and being told what words we can and cannot use is a form of censorship?

Hall & Oats — I Can’t Go for That (No can do). I was in college when it came out. I hadn’t met my husband. Should this song be banned, along with the phrase “no can do?”