A few weeks ago I spent the better half of the day trying to undo something that probably will happen to you soon too – if you don’t take action.
In short; sign up for a Lastpass account!
For the rest of the story, continue reading!
I woke up the morning, checked my notifications as usual, then I saw a mail from one of my clients starting with a subject along the lines of “Help”.
At first I assumed it was something to do with the website; maybe the site was down, or he needed a new project finished, or something.
As I started to read I figured out what was up from the first line.
The email basically said that he (my client) apologizes for such a mail and for even having to ask for help like this the first place. It went on to explain that he and his family went on a short family vacation and got robbed, losing their wallets money, and even ID’s, they barely escaped with their life and they are quite grateful for that.
But that they now need some money so that they can settle their bills and get back home.
On the surface, a very believable and tragic story indeed. However, because I’ve been working in the IT field for quite some time, I recognized the storyline. And I actually got a mail like this a few times before.
Actually I’ve hear of cases where the hackers even hacked the Facebook (and other social media account) of the person to make the story even more believable.
So right away I contacted my client telling him he was hacked and and we got to work on reversing what had happened.
Now just so you understand the situation, this is his main email address, which he also uses for his business and business communications.
This is where he had emails with invoices and other important documents saved.
We first had to get back access to the email account. In most cases, this is just a matter of going through a recovery process, filling in the latest bit of info you can remember about your account.
When I finally got into logging into the account, I realized that the hackers not only actually deleted the email account, but they also deleted ALL the emails, (and maybe even some contacts), changed the language to some Arabic language so that it would be very difficult to maneuver in the settings to change back the language to something recognizable.
And then they also created a Hotmail account with the same username and forwarded all incoming mails to that Hotmail account.
Trust me! It was quite scarey to see the exents to which these guys went to achieve what they did. And the most scarey thing is that this could happen to anyone!
Unless… you create a password that looks like you were typing on the computer with turrets syndrome – ‘G2#iywoYXq$2T34d’. But I know most of you wont, and/or wont even remember such a password.
And that is exactly why you should use a password manager like Lasspass. There are also a few others, like 1Password, and Dashlane, and even an Open Source offering, KeePass, but I prefer Lastpass. And it seems to be the most popular too.
Hope this was able to help you and that you actually take your security a bit more serious!