Today, my husband called me at work, and he was in hysterics. He was laughing so hard, I could barely understand. The few words I could make out were “your email,” “hacked,” “erection” “my dad and your ex.”
I finally deciphered what he was meaning — my old Yahoo account, which I rarely use, was apparently hacked, and my husband was on an email list that included him, his father and my ex-boyfriend and it said “Win the sexuality! And forget about impotence” and had a link to something spammy.
Then, the emails started coming in. I got to give those spammers some credit. Almost all the emails said something different and some even looked semi legit.
After I finished laughing, I had an “Oh crap” moment. This is the account that I opened when I moving from DC to Florida nearly eight years ago, and it had a slew of contacts from my old job, as well as other people I’d met through work or other purposes. People like a reporter at the Wall St. Journal. And two old bosses. And the entire alumni softball team I played on in DC. In other words, people I have not communicated with in eight years.
So I quickly sent this email out to my entire address book:
By now, I hope you’ve all realized that I did not send that last email. Apparently, I’ve been hacked.
Some of you have been in my address book in this rarely used account for so long that you probably don’t even remember me anymore. So, this is awkward, but how are you doing?
Sorry for the spam!
The best part was that I started hearing from people I haven’t talked to a long time. I got messages from my cousin-in-law in Atlanta, an old work colleague who lives in Belgium now, the aforementioned ex-boyfriend (who now, by the way, happens to be a good friend of mine and is friends with my husband, so don’t get the wrong idea!) and, the most shocking of all — my ex-best friend.
She and I were best friends growing up and she was even a bridesmaid in my wedding five years ago. Then, about two years ago, I suddenly realized one day she had de-friended me on Facebook. Even better, she was STILL friends with my mom and brother — just not me. I have no idea what I did wrong. Since then, I’ve sent a birthday card and Christmas card but never heard anything back.
But today, she sent back a nice email and asked how I was doing. So, now I’m stressing over what to write. When I tweeted about it, I got this response:
You know what, I think @KidDictionary is right — it is kismet. So I think I’ll just respond with a pleasant email and see where it takes us. My husband really wants me to reply, “I’m doing great. We should really catch up on Facebook sometime.” Smart ass.
How would you respond?
So what’s my takeaway from today? First of all, clean up those address books! I have no idea how I got hacked so I’d like to say I had some advice for how to avoid it. But, given the fact I’ve had that same password (even though it was a really good one) for eight years, I think changing passwords every so often is a good idea.
Know what else I learned? Maybe spam isn’t such a bad idea. Got someone you’ve been putting off reconnecting with? Send a fake spam and use it as a conversation starter!