Getting Hacked: It Can Happen To You

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Dear friends,

I am writing to you at nearly midnight on the day that my blog, A Zen Librarian, has been deleted.  It is a blog that I’ve written passionately for over five and a half years.  Deleted by someone who found that to be edifying.  To say I feel violated is an understatement. Within a few hours, I had nearly a hundred sad emoticons and well wishes from colleagues, friends, and family near and far.  I’m not going to lie, I was furious.

When you decide how you are going to invest your time in this world, you have to weigh so many options.  I confess, I could have benefited by jogging rather than blogging.  Heck, I could have made dinner more often for my amazing wife.  I, however, made the decision to document my learning.  My failure.  My success.  My collaboration.  My wishes.  My dreams.  In short, this was my way of processing the ebb and flow of my own life.  It has kept me sane and prescient.  Those who have read my blog know that it isn’t just a blog about teaching and learning.  I shared highs and lows and it was pretty obvious how those often impacted all aspects of what it means to be a teacher.  And all of them know there’s a lot more to it than what happens from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

What I have been most proud of with the work I’ve written about on the blog is how it has connected my students and our library to the world.  We had hundreds of thousands of readers from every continent on the earth and at one time from nearly 100+ countries.

Students read the blog and it was the easiest way for me (a painfully shy introvert) to get involved in a passionate discussion with anyone anywhere.

And now, when you google my blog, this is what you will find:

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 11.11.19 PMSo, what is one to do?  Well, first and foremost I hope that this will serve as a bit of a wake-up call for any of you who are blogging.

There are a million tips on the net about how to protect yourself and your blog.  For me, I believe my mistake was trusting an email from my hosting company.  I rarely hear from them unless they need to update a policy.  They sent me a weird looking email.  I emailed them back to ask if this indeed was a legit message and of course the reply was, “Yes, this is Legit.”  That should have been my cue, but I trusted them.  Getting them into my email, I believe they had some sort of worm that was able to access all of my accounts connected to my email.  For those of us who use Google, that means, blogger, google photos and much, much more.  The hacker changed my google password and I was locked out of all of my accounts.  Since the blog was connected to my work email, the IT folks responded kindly, but not too encouragingly. They are still working on trying to find my blog, but the bottom line is that there is a button on all blogs that basically says ‘DELETE’  “THIS CANNOT BE UNDONE.”  Once they do that, well, the party’s over.

Here is a decent article about protecting yourself from hackers.  It boils down to:

  • Strong Passwords
  • Virus Protection
  • Common Sense

http://beabetterblogger.com/protect-your-blog/

I had the first two, but clearly was lacking in the third.  So, now what do I do?  Well, thanks to my good friend Kristina Holzweiss dug into the ‘WayBack Machine.’ It basically is a time capsule that has collected billions of web pages.  Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 11.26.11 PMI was able to access many of the hundreds of posts I’ve written; they weren’t all there and some of the images were gone, but if people know to go there, they can still find much of the hard work.

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And so, now I turn the page.  I’ve officially moved everything to my new blog simply titled: toddburleson.com.  For now it’s just a blog and an information page about the IDEA Lab, but it will grow and evolve as the users and space does too!

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So, being a big believer in using what the world throws at you to make you stronger, I turned to my favorite app on my iPhone: Chill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what I found:

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Thank you HDT for helping me put things into perspective and soothe the anger and loathing I was feeling.  I go to sleep with a thankful heart and am ready to launch on that very next wave!

Peace.

 

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