So... in case you were wondering - no, I did not take a trip to Malaysia. Though that would have been lovely - the getting mugged part wouldn't have been.
Sadly - it has been a giant mess to clean up. When they hacked my email, the completely locked me out, changing the password and the backup email so there was no way for me to get in to my account. Gmail's customer support... for lack of a better word... sucks. The account that got hacked was the one connected to this blog and my google checkout account (which is no longer). I will not be opening another google checkout account at all. Ever. Because I was locked out of my account - there was no way for me to easily contact ANYONE about shutting down my account. Long story - but just beware, unless you have to have a GC account - I wouldn't bother. Even with all the paypal issues people have had - at least they have customer service people that are fairly prompt and not simply robots... but that's a whole other soap box.
Long story short - I finally have access back.
Thank you to everyone that contacted me and even sent links to government websites for reporting these sad pathetic people.
My advice to all of those like me that think "oh it'll never be me":
- change your passwords - make sure no two passwords are the same and really... not even similar. The time and energy I have spent dealing with this is far beyond what it would take to change your passwords every few months or so.
- back up your email contacts - I had the vast majority of mine backed up on another email address, but was still missing several hundred... and those of course are the most recent ones.
- back up your email if you can - Luckily through the apple mail system - and my lack of deleting emails - I still have 10,000+ emails from the past 5 years. (sad I know...) but still - it would have saved me if I hadn't gotten access back.
I have no idea how my email got hacked and I doubt I ever will. I feel like I'm generally pretty cautious, but obviously not enough. I suppose I'd gotten too comfortable in my little online bubble. Now I am utterly disappointed and let down by gmail/google. I feel out of sorts in terms of security. And am completely overwhelmed by the fact that my whole business and much of my life revolves around the computer and that one particular email.
The good news is, I appear to have everything back. No loss of contacts, no loss of emails, no tampering with anything of super importance that I've found yet... but I still feel like I have hours and hours ahead of me of changing passwords and log-ins, deleting certain things and reorganizing everything in a new email. Sadly a new email I don't like as much.
There is part of me that feels like overall I'm handling it okay and more calmly than I might have thought I would. And there is another part of me that feels totally overwhelmed and is ready to shut down.
So for any customers that are waiting for a response from me, many apologies in any delay.
oh oh and the kicker... I'd planned on emailing my entire contact list to tell everyone what was going on... apparently b/c of all the emailing... I can't do anymore mass emails or I would be in danger of having my account shut down for being a spammer. great. thanks. so... here's this blog post!
17 hours ago