There Are Some Things I Just Can’t Hack!

Andrea Freedman

Recently, my world was turned upside-down when I was denied access to my e-mail for almost a week. It all started when one error in judgment led me to open an e-mail that subsequently resulted in a computer virus. I was then informed that my e-mail had been hacked and then blocked for security purposes.

One false move really can change everything. In the blink of an eye, the virus was sent from my e-mail to practically every single person I had ever contacted by e-mail my entire life. I was inundated with returned,  undeliverable messages. Needless to say, I was not happy once I realized what had happened. After all, receiving annoying, virus-causing e-mails would not do anything to endear me to editors or anyone else for that matter.

I wished I had not been so negligent in deleting some people who I had not been in touch with in years from my contacts. I hoped that everyone would realize that this e-mail was sent without my knowledge or control. Others who had had the same experience assured me that they would.

What ensued were several frustrating telephone calls and online chats to my e-mail’s supposed technical support team. Each time, I was told that I would have to wait up to twenty-four hours for the issue to be resolved. When I contacted them again after the twenty-four hours had expired, I was asked to answer the same questions as I had the day before, and again told that I would have to wait an additional twenty-four hours before the problem could be fixed. Every day for a week I woke up with renewed hope. I was anxious to read my e-mail messages, even if most of them were not all that important.

After a few days, I was ready to scream. I realized that I was just going around in circles. I would either have to come up with a different solution, or accept the fact that I would most likely have to use a new e-mail address. Any messages waiting for me might never be read.

I wondered if I would I lose touch with the blogs I followed, and if I would have to go back and follow them again, using a new e-mail address. These may sound like mundane problems, or non-issues, but I could think of little else until it was resolved.

I worried that I would have to change all my social media, business card and website information. I wondered, panic-stricken, what would happen if a literary agent responded to my novel query, but I was unable to read the message.

The experience was so upsetting that I could not stop talking about it. It was first and foremost on my mind, and I drove my husband, and anyone else who would listen, crazy for an entire week. It seemed like everyone knew about it. In fact, one of my neighbours informed me that my husband had told her about it!

I was determined that there must be one person out there who would be able and willing to help me. Finally, after much perseverance and stress, a kind, patient gentleman who works for my internet service provider’s technical support team, took the time to figure out what the problem was and, more importantly, to fix it. Although I usually dread calling my service provider, ironically, this turned out to be my most pleasant experience with them ever.

I am happy to say the whole nightmare is finally behind me. I got through it, but it wasn’t easy.

There was a time when I did not take things like computer viruses and being hacked all that seriously. After this experience, I have completely changed my attitude. I plan on being much more careful in the future.

If my e-mail being hacked is the worst problem I have, then I consider myself lucky. Having said that, I can now go on with my life again, and I have learned a valuable lesson: When in doubt, hit delete!♦

 

Has your e-mail ever been hacked? How did it make you feel; how did you handle it? Did you get back into your e-mail or just give up? Please share your experience with me.

 

Copyright © Andrea Freedman 2014

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About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on June 7, 2014, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I am very suspicious of stuff that comes through sources I do not identify. Glad you got through it though 🙂

    Like

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