I would like to make a public apology to anyone who arbitrarily received an obnoxious e-mail from me last week.
Your irritation is quite understandable to me: I got it too.
I was astonished one morning to open up my Hotmail account and find that I received an e-mail from a certain ?David Vogel? at a certain e-mail address that I no longer actively use.
For those of you didn?t get the e-mail, here it is in its full broken-English glory:
?hello, I have bought one ipad from this website. and have received it until now, much cheaper than others and genuine. if you want, you can order one from them, this is theri website. you can check it out , Kind regards ?david?
Imagine my surprise to see my full endorsement for a product I have never bought and have never received until now, therefore I have no idea if it is cheaper than others. Or genuine, for that matter.
What happened was quite obvious to me: either the Mr. Hyde part of my personality was impulsively endorsing Apple-brand products, or my e-mail account had a hacker.
I assumed the latter.
Since this hacking occurred in an account that I don?t use anymore, I wasn?t terribly concerned about the number of people who might receive the erroneous advertisement from me. That is, until I realized that my contacts list still contained all of the strangers to whom I mass-mailed newsletters for my aunt several years ago.
One individual was kind enough to politely reply, stating that similar events have occurred in the past, and then requesting to be taken off the mailing list.
I politely responded, stating that I wanted to be taken off the mailing list as well.
Unfortunately, digital account hacking is not terribly uncommon anymore. The Internet?with its round-the-globe information accessibility?allows for data to be gathered and exploited without permission at a single click of a button.
For those of you who follow Hollywood news, you may remember the several instances from the last two years or so in which the digital accounts of young pop-culture stars?most role models for children?were hacked into.
The results of these hackings were widely circulated private photos of said pop-culture stars in very compromising situations.
Not only does this illustrate that the ?pristine oceans? of our society have been tainted by the ?noxious oil? of sordid morals from the ?gushing leak? of Hollywood entertainment that is not being solved by the ?incompetent BP executives? of our national leaders, but it also just goes to show that none of your private information is completely safe online.
(For those of you who were wondering, yes, I am quite proud of myself for working my opinion of the Gulf of Mexico oil crisis into this column.)
I should know: my Facebook account was also hacked several months ago.
However, don?t be too worried about this. I have no secret photos of myself in compromising situations for the hackers to steal; I already posted all of my embarrassing pictures.
This Facebook hacking was quite similar to my recent e-mail hacking in that it merely sent an obnoxious message to several of my friends.
Facebook, which is apparently much more vigilant than Hotmail, detected this hacking and immediately ordered me to change my password. This was the same password I had been using for virtually everything (or, everything virtual) since I was in fifth grade, so I wasn?t terribly happy about the change.
Cranky from both being hacked and being required to update my traditional security, I changed my password to something along the lines of ?donthackme.?
Sometimes a little sarcasm goes a long ways.
Come to think of it, my Hotmail account that got hacked also uses my fifth-grade password. Maybe that?s my problem.
But I really don?t want to change it. I have received it until now, and it is quite genuine.