We were hacked!

Posted by TaraD in Tara Donoghue Photography

Some of you may have missed us while others possibly never even noticed that we were absent online for the past week.

The reason being that we were HACKED!

My personal fb page was hacked into which then gave the hacker a way in to accessing our business page (which you can’t set up without having a personal page) and he quickly removed us all as admins, changed the password, email and phone number associated with the account. So, the problem was when trying to reactivate is that fb reply with automated messages and say they will send you an email or contact you by text message but the hacker had changed that to his details so everything I tried was going to him and letting him know that I was trying to get access.

Talk about FRUSTRATING!!!

The icing on the cake was then that the hacker messaged Dave from my account demanding money to allow us access again!!

Now I didn’t give a “bleep” about my personal page I was concerned about if this person would start answering enquiries as “Tara Donoghue Photography” and start messing with my business! Thankfully he didn’t, as he mentioned in one of his messages he “just does this is for the money” and doesn’t care about the accounts. But it was a week full of headaches dealing with these annoying messages and trying to get hold of “a real person in facebook” who could help us, not an automated reply regarding hacking.

Thanks to “The Brand Geeks” who came up with the idea of searching through linkedin for REAL people who work for fb or have knowledge in this area, I got in touch with Alan Fahy Facebook specialist … aka Superman, headache solver and a completely sound guy! After the nightmare of a week and messages continually popping through demanding payment, (even while on the phone to Alan), he told me that he would have it solved by Monday and this was Saturday evening that he took the time out to phone me and put my mind at ease! True to his word we are up and running again and have learnt so much that I feel all in all to turn it into something positive, it was a great learning experience.

So here are the top things I learnt throughout the week!

  • Fb will send you automated replies if you contact them with a series of links to check out. They did literally as I was writing this just contact me by phone, but unfortunately that was after a week of being held to ransom and probably over 100 messages sent to them first!
  • Check your security settings on fb and add in the extra features fb recommends such as trusted contacts. If I had done this I “may” of got access back quicker, then again I am guessing the hacker would have removed those too.
  • Check your apps, have you clicked on all of those or are there any that look dodgy?
  • Check that your email and phone number are correct and that you check them for notifications regularly. So, if you see any suspicious activity you can get acting on it straight away!
  • Don’t discuss anything private via messenger (personal or business page). We always direct clients to our website and ask them to call or discuss via email but it made me even more conscious of this as I didn’t want the hacker having access to client conversations or pictures that I may have been requested through messages.
  • Never put anything into any messages that you wouldn’t be happy with a stranger having access to. Bank details etc (I never do but it made me even more aware of how easy all that info could have been public).
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. I get these constantly and sorry but I always ignore them. If you want to get in touch with us on our business page, email or phone feel free but I want to keep my personal page for those who I personally know well.

It also made me re- evaluate how we do business online, in a world which is so technology orientated at the same time there were many advantages to booking and organising everything via phone or even may I mention a good old fashioned letter!

So for those of you still with us reading this…

I really hope you never experience the stress of being hacked. If you have any questions please feel free to comment or if this has happened to you feel free to share your advice!

Please also take ten minutes to check your settings and look at Alan’s page https://www.facebook.com/AlanMFahy/?fref=ts for tons of great advice to prevent this happening to you or your business!

 

Tara x