Thursday, November 19, 2009

Anti-Social Media

“It is only the inadequacy of the criminal code that saves the hackers from very serious prosecution.” – Ken Thompson

The results of the Jung Typology Test that Julie Lomoe mentioned in her guest blog here on Monday, confirmed that I’m an introvert. However, I never considered my self antisocial—until now, that is.

I was just starting to get a little more comfortable using Twitter. I even installed TweetDeck. Then last week, some slimy (I deleted a few adjectives here, but you’re welcome to use your imagination) scumbag somehow hacked into my account and sent out direct mail spam messages in my name. I can’t tell you how angry and upset this makes me.

My apologies to all of you who received the junk messages. I am so appreciative that several people knew I wouldn’t send out that sort of mail and informed me that my Twitter account had probably been the victim of a hacker. I followed their suggestions and changed my password immediately, but it was almost two full days before I could access my account again. I kept getting the message that I was temporarily locked out because of too many failed attempts to enter the correct password. I guess the creep didn’t want to give up too easily.

I know it’s not a serious crime. Nothing tangible was stolen and I wasn’t physically harmed, yet I felt violated. My personal space had been infringed upon and it made me very uncomfortable. Though I have different passwords for various accounts, I felt the need to go into all of my accounts and change my password, just in case. Making the changes didn’t take that much time, but recalling the proper sign-in for each situation taxes my limited memory function. I find myself calling that hacker all sorts of unpleasant names as I fumble with my new passwords.

Closing my Twitter account crossed my mind, but then I felt that would be like hunching my shoulders and fading to the background while letting the class bully get away with being a jerk. Instead, I plan on hanging in there, but I’m doing things differently. I am going to be a lot less sociable on my social Twitter network.

I plan to be much more selective when I hit the ‘follow back’ button. If you do not have any information or a website on your profile, you may indeed be a very nice person with interesting Tweets, but I am not going to follow you. I need to know more.

If I know you personally or if you’re an online friend, don’t worry, you’re safe. Those I don’t know and who have nothing to do with the world of writing, publishing or editing, you’re history—I’m unfollowing. I hope you don’t take it personal. Blame it on the malicious and despicable hackers who are taking the social out of social networking.

In January, I blogged about Hackers and Virus Writers. I didn’t understand the purpose then and I don’t understand it now. I just wish the people who felt the need to do this sort of thing would get a life of their own and quit disrupting others.

Have you had problems with hackers? Do you have any prevention tips?

Thanks for stopping by and letting me rant. I feel much better now.

Tags: Ken Thompson, Jung Typology test, Twitter , tweetdeck, hackers , passwords, antisocial, Julie Lomoe


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Jane, I got one of those messages and knew it wasn't from you. I actually got several in one day, all from different people. So sorry you got hacked! Glad you are standing up to the creep, though.

And I follow your motto - no website and a vague description or none means I will not follow back.

I've never been hacked, although with my many websites and social sites, it's always a possibility.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Jane, I've gotten about 30 DMs...from people I know and other followers that showed their accounts were clearly hacked. If it makes you feel better, you weren't individually targeted. It's probably a good idea for all of us to change our passwords every month. Thanks for the reminder and I'm sorry this happened to you!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Helen Ginger said...

So sorry this happened to you. I don't understand people who do this kind of thing. What a warped mind they must have.

I'm with you, if you don't have anything in your profile or you're just there to sell something or if you're trying to gather followers, yet you've not tweeted or only tweeted once, I don't follow you back. What I need to do is find time to figure out who I'm following who hasn't followed me back and delete them from my list.

Straight From Hel

Joanne said...

I don't understand the motivation behind things like this. What an aggravation for you! I have read that it's wise to consistently change our passwords, but from the sounds of your post, I don't know if even that would've helped :/ Glad you've straightened it all out!

Carol Kilgore said...

Ack! So sorry you had such a mess. Twitter is something I haven't tried yet, but I'm sure I will one day. I'll think carefully about a password and hope I'll remember to change it frequently.

Karen Walker said...

Oh, Jane, I'm so sorry this happened to you. I've been so close to discontinuing Twitter altogether, and this makes me want to do that even more. Except one of my blogging buddies just got an agent whom she connected with on Twitter, so it does have its advantages. Good luck!

The Old Silly said...

LOL, good rant. I haven't had probs with hackers. I DO have Askimet protection on my blog, and it has caught in excess of 1,000 spam comments!

Marvin D Wilson

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Luckily, this hasn't happened to me...yet. When I get a notice from Twitter that someone new is following me I check out who they are. If they look questionable, I block them.


Nancy J. Parra said...

Oh, I'm so sorry this happened to you!!
The worst thing about twitter for me is the profile pics that are pornographic. Sigh. I don't want to see that- I didn't ask to see that. sigh. I block them immediately.

Good for you not to let them bully you out of using the media.


Morgan Mandel said...

That happened to me on MySpace once. I changed my password, but it was aggravating.

Morgan Mandel

Anonymous said...

This sounds really upsetting, Jane. Glad you got it straightened out. I'm feeling antisocial today too - but it's because of some toxic people I had to confront in person, and a group I resigned from. I blogged about it today, though I probably shouldn't have.

Thanks for the new link to my site and the humanmetrics test. I'm still collecting types - haven't found any extrovert writers yet.

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Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world