I can hear you now. Come on, you say. The benefits of appendicitis is one thing, but really, surely there are no benefits to having your (several) websites simultaneously hacked and all the files deleted? I mean how irritatingly positive can you get? (I’m sure my kids would provide you with an answer, but luckily they take no interest in what I do – what child does – and are unlikely to come pitching in with comments.)
I admit the experience was less than fun, at the time. But here I am, with everything restored from back up and deeply grateful that it wasn’t worse. After all, the hacker got to the websites, it seems, through a weakness in Windows XP, with a trojan activating XP’s Remote Assistance feature, meaning he (and yes, you can be sure it was a man, God bless them all) had control of my desktop. So frankly, he could have done a lot more damage.
So like all less than desirable events, I’m looking at it as a learning experience. And what did I learn?
- How to disable Remote Assistance. (If you’re an XP user, best follow that link!)
- To be grateful for the huge mountain of valuable data on my PC left untouched.
- That I have at least one IT-savvy friend who responds instantly to crying women.
- The necessity for ridiculous, randomised passwords I can’t remember, even if they’re a total nuisance.
- That I still love my computer, and the internet, more than is probably healthy for someone working in the arts and humanities.
- Webhostingpad’s support service isn’t as bad as I heard, especially given that hosting is only $2 a month.
- Despite my initial misgivings about Facebook, Facebook friends can provide much needed support and welcome humour when the going gets tough.
In fact, so enamoured have I recently become of Facebook, that I have now set up a page where people can ‘Like’ me. No, not because I need proof that I am liked, though frankly I really could have done with a page like that when I was 15. But because 800 and something “friends” is ridiculous, and I want to start separating the personal from the professional. As a bonus, if you ‘Like’ me (and you can even do so from this website, oh, how I love WordPress plugins) you will have access, over the coming weeks and months, to downloadable MP3s and videos that people who don’t like me couldn’t care less about not having. So click away. It’s just a click, I won’t expect you to buy me dinner or anything.
Final bonus benefit of the hacking experience: utter misery is such a rarity for me these days that the bounce back is always spectacular. I’m feeling exceptionally good today. As you can probably tell.