Hacking and scamming

ninja-1507457__340Looks like today’s my day to be hacked – and scammed – both in one day!

A few minutes ago, I got a phone call from a client. Having misplaced my number, he looked it up on the website. “I had a good laugh at your little joke on your Contact Us page”, he said. “What joke?” I asked. “I don’t put any jokes up there”

I quickly pulled up that page and saw the word “Viagra” appearing before the “….please call…” text.

Yikes! I was mortified. This was no joke. I’d been hacked.

As it happened, I was in my computer’s dashboard making some revisions to my website copy, so I immediately deleted the “v” word and thanked him for pointing it out. How long it had been up there, I don’t know, but what I do know is that these vulgar additions are not helpful to anyone’s business reputation – especially if you’re operating as a small business.

Working in the area of risk and risk communication, I’m well aware of cyber hacks and their potential destruction, but somehow thought this wouldn’t happen to my own website.

So check your website copy every now and again to make sure it hasn’t been mysteriously altered by some outside (or inside) hackers. And, I’ve just learned, if you have a WordPress site, make sure it’s the latest version, so hackers can’t get in so easily.

cyber-security-1938338__340 hackedI could end this blog here, but there’s a strange footnote to this story. Literally, just minutes after this client call, I received another call – this time from an alleged member of a Microsoft technical support team. I’ve had these guys call me before so I’m well aware of their scam, but I decided to play along with it for a few minutes.

They tell you your computer is not running properly and that you need to download software so they can take over your computer and “fix the problem”.  Instead of fixing the problem, this software can capture sensitive data like personal banking information and passwords and/or infect your system with a virus. A close friend of mine got taken in a few months ago and had to pay lots of money to have her computer fixed by a legitimate tech geek.

Anyway, after a few minutes, I got tired of talking to this guy so I called him out on his scam and gave him a piece of my mind – and he hung up the phone instantly!

In some strange way, I suppose I should thank these guys for giving me a blog idea, but I sure hope there won’t be a third hacking attempt today – or ever!