WE ARE ARCHAIC – AND I’VE BEEN HACKED – Marilyn Armstrong

ARCHAIC

We were the hot new writers that got WordPress ‘on the board’ back in their early days, but we are old now and they want something different. More money. A lot more money. Apparently the profits they are making are insufficient to keep them rolling along, so pretty much everything that made them special is being trashed in favor of getting more people to buy expensive — very expensive — business accounts.

Since most of us are NOT businesses, we can’t possibly afford the price and for a writer or photographer, the offering is meaningless. If you aren’t selling a product, you simply don’t need what they are selling. And since they aren’t offering it “piecemeal,” it’s impossible. So at the end of this month, there will be no daily post, no weekly photo challenge, no other challenges. None.

That was the second worst news of yesterday. The top news of the day was I got hacked. Not infected with a virus, but actually hacked, like big companies. Which is pretty weird since this isn’t a company, big or little and we don’t have any money. What we do have and what they are after, are credit cards. I have been very cautious about adding cards to services. That’s the plus. And they didn’t get anything money from me, though they tried. Amazon spotted them and closed me down immediately as did PayPal. Walmart took a lot longer, but ultimately got it done.

The problem was not solved on my computer, so lurking beneath the surface of my computer is a massive porn site in Nigeria and under the pornography is a bunch of hackers from the dark web.

Whoa! The dark web? Seriously? Me? Why me?

I’m sure everyone who has ever been hacked has asked that question while pointing their lonely face at the virtual sky.

The answer is I don’t know. I’m sure that Microsoft knows and so does Dell, because the only way I realized I had been hacked was that they called ME. These guys are on their “hot list” of dangerous hackers, so now I’m listed on the “dangerous hackers” site too.

My accounts are closed and the only serious problem for me is that this includes Kindle books and Audible. I don’t have a password at Amazon and won’t until I call them and tell them it’s safe.

That’s the bad news. The better news is that I back up my stuff. Pictures and documents are all backed up to external hard drives. NOT clouds because if they were clouded, I might not be able to even get to them. The less good news is that my PC is closed down — off — and that’s where all my photography and processing software lives. So making pictures is going to be difficult until I get my other computer back.

The better news is that Garry and his ears are ready to move on to the electric Borg cycle in his hearing epic. We are waiting for the doctor’s scheduler to call. Sometime in July, probably. We’ll know more soon.

Overall, it hasn’t been one of my better weeks. I’m trying to not get too depressed — and not quite succeeding. It has been a week of losses and discovering no matter how careful you are, you are vulnerable. The bad guys are out there and you are the target. It isn’t because of who you are or anything special. They are looking to steal your credit card information and they have some amazing tools with which to do it.

Back up your stuff externally on hard drives you own — and be extremely careful about leaving credit card information in your online accounts.

Then hope for the best.

Just one picture today because it’s the only one I’ve got at the moment. Everything else is on hard drives that don’t interact well with this Mac … or on the other, off-line computer.

Great day in the morning, my friend. GREAT day.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

36 thoughts on “WE ARE ARCHAIC – AND I’VE BEEN HACKED – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. How horrible! Here’s hoping all is solved reasonably (do hackers even do reasonable?) and that you get some very good news soon, because you’re overdue. You explained, finally, why the Daily Prompt & Co are exiting Stage Left. I THOUGHT it was something that the ‘new and degraded (IMHO) WordPress’ had done, and you’ve confirmed it. *sigh* It may be time for me to pack up the old kit bag and fly, fly, fly. How discouraging!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so sorry to hear you’ve been hacked. We’re just like lobsters in a tank nowadays… chosen at random and unable to fight because our claws have been banded shut. As for the Word Press news, I am heartbroken. People like you blazed a path for us newbies…it’s going to be lot harder for us now! At times like this, I always remember the Buddhist belief that when everything goes wrong, it’s just the universe distracting us so we won’t interfere with the birth of something beautiful.
    Glad to hear the good news about Garry… keep us posted!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a bummer! Thanks for the advice Marilyn. I do back up on an external hard drive. Sometimes this happens no matter how hard to try to stop it.
    Hope Garry’s (bionic) ears go forth successfully. I’d love to hear all about it.
    Leslie

    Like

    1. Garry will write about it when he is ready, which he isn’t yet. But it is moving forward.

      Yes, no matter HOW careful you are, there’s a lot of risk online and if you are online a lot, it’s like flying a lot. Your odds of winding up crashed just keep going up.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have heard of the dark web, but not a place I would like to go. There are unfortunately some things where use of a credit card cannot be avoided. Most of my stuff is automatically re-booked when the annual subscription is finished. I have all my photos on an external hard drive, I do not bother to back up my writing.

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  5. Yikes! Well at least Dell, Microsoft, Amazon, and PayPal caught it and limited the damage. It sucks because you feel so violated when something like this happens. I don’t think I’ve ever been hacked, but I did have my identity stolen and it took months to get that addressed.

    I hope you have a better week next week.

    Like

  6. Sorry you were hacked. That truly sucks. 😦

    As for WordPress, I’m pondering moving on and trying to write short stories on my own without the crutch of a random word. I have never liked the powers behind WP. I think they’re creepy. And now I think they’re stupid to move in the direction of making WP into something that already exists better elsewhere and turning away from one of it’s best marketing tools — the Daily Prompt. But if they want to be stupid, I can’t stop them.

    As for Garry, any movement toward Borgness is at least interesting and I’m sure he’s going to love being able to hear. ❤

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    1. I think WordPress is on the road to failure, but someone told them this is what to do. Everyone else who tried it has already failed, so … But you can’t fix them. They don’t get it. Meanwhile, my computer is totally dead in the water and I’m just bummed. There’s stuff on there I really need.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. geez, I didn’t realize they were actually going to close the Daily Post until I saw your post. Shakes my head. This is a huge change because it’s one of the first place that people begin to build and audience and participate in a community.

    I created a page of writing and photo prompts hosted on other sites for the days I didn’t like the Daily Post prompt plus sometimes I’d get irritated when my pingback to Dialy Post didn’t work. Mostly though the writing sites are poetry or fiction as poetry was my focus. I have a few photography prompt sites listed too. I bet Cee’s is probably going to become a lot more popular.
    http://onblogging.net/writing-prompts/

    I’ll have to start looking for “one-word” prompt sites now too. Since we are all probably going to be bouncing around looking for prompts, if you see any sites that I don’t have listed, please tell me. I have a couple of newbie friends and since Daily Post was always the place I told new people to post too, I need to find a prompt place that’s as friendly for them/newbies.

    I am sorry you got hacked. That sounds like a totally terrible experience. Scarey. Makes me realize I haven’t backed anything up and how big a job that will be.

    Like

    1. We can do this ourselves. I can’t do it right now because there is too much else going on through the summer, but by fall, I can host a “good morning” post. It’s not difficult and I’ve done it before. I’m also much more interested in writing because though I take a lot of pictures, I’m much more a writer than anything else.

      WordPress is cutting their own throats because they are taking away the things that made them special. Every blog site that has done this has disappeared. Remember Geocities? There were a bunch of others. ALL gone. They decided they aren’t make enough money and eventually, they just go out of business. I’m hoping tha doesn’t happen, but it could. I hope there will be somewhere else to blog by then.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think their decision might have something to do with the European Union’s new law. It would just be a pain to have to remove all of someone’s posts any time they request it when they have daily postings by multitudes of people.

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        1. They are still going to have problems with it and they have been trying to eliminate this stuff for a couple of years and we always fought them to a standstill. Not this time, though. They want to make more money and somehow, they think this nonsense will help them make more. It won’t. They are on the high road to failure.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree that they are making a mistake. They don’t realize how much the daily prompts help new bloggers. My first like was from a daily prompt and I’ve introduced others to it and they had the same experience. They hadn’t had any like in their first year of blogging and it’s a powerful thing to get your first like and know someone actually read it. The internet is soooo huge that individual blogs disappear inside of it mostly — I found the Daily Post is was a good way for a beginner to find a community. I don’t think they realize how many people started and/or continued using their services because of that.

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              1. We need a frowny face like when we agree with something that’s not a happy thing. This is sad. I’m glad you guys made them bring it back before.

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      2. damn what a freaking mess. I’ve never been comfortable with WP, even though I love the concept and the customizations, they were just too complex for my taste.

        Almost every message board is gone (including Utne and the poetry boards), the maj0r deals like Yahoo that went from everything to an email package very fast, and now that they’ve sold off Flick’r, there’s not much left.

        There’s always Blogger, if it comes to that.

        Online communication morphs, and right now the big noise is twitter and instagram, and even Facebook is starting to lose favor.

        Im sorry you got caught in that hacking thing. It’s a terrible feeling to realize just how vulnerable we are and just how silly and worthless those passwords really are, too.

        But the bright spot is Garry, and all my fingers are crossed for that. =)

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        1. It showed up on TV. It’s a router hack and they are warning everyone to reboot their router and get a patch from the manufacturer. Except my unit is no longer being supported — it is, after all, an ancient 3 years old! Meanwhile, I burned my computer down and am now rebuilding it. What a PAIN.

          Like

  8. I didn’t want to “Like” this because it is awful. I know you are careful in your online life but hackers are so random. I read Ben Huberman’s post yesterday and was quite shocked but I’m sure you are spot on with the reason. Hosting a bunch of folks talking to each other doesn’t make money. I didn’t do the Daily Prompt very often but doing challenges is a great way to connect with other bloggers and get read. I read a lot of them. Without it writers and photographers will find it harder to share their work. It seems like everything is about money and business now. I don’t know where we would go if we left though. Anything that is left that is being run for the sake of it and not for money will eventually become commercialised or fold because it seems that is the way the world is now and we can’t stop it.

    Like

    1. We can do this without WordPress. I would do it, but I’ve got Garry’s surgery coming up. I need a few months to get life back in order before I take anything on. But I have done it before and it isn’t difficult. A bit time consuming, though. And I don’t know that I could do it daily. Maybe if we get 7 people who will each do it for a day a week, that would work out better?

      Liked by 1 person

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