I Got Hacked: Here’s What I Learned

It’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me, and there’s a story behind that!

It all started about a month ago when I discovered my Facebook account had been hacked by the ads that were running using my credit card and picture. My team quickly discovered that an old email address I had allowed to become inactive had been registered by the “hacker.” That email address wasn’t listed on any of my accounts and hadn’t been used in years, however, it was still able to be used to access Facebook. Once he was in, he was also able to reset my Instagram account (they were connected). My team went into overdrive working through Facebook and Instagram's processes (and even sending some personal emails) to recover the accounts.

And we did.... BUT then Instagram continued to be hacked. We would recover it and then lose it. We had done everything possible (two-factor authentication, changing passwords, etc), but nothing worked. One time it only took 30 minutes to lose the account after days of trying to get it back. We’re not exactly sure what happened, but we believe the culprit could have been a combination of phone and email account hacking along with the social media accounts.

Then… after several back and forths all of my Instagram content was deleted and my username was changed. That was a bummer!  You can see the progression below:


However, we kept moving forward and I believe we have finally reached a point of safety again!

I wanted to update all of you on this story for two reasons:

  1. Instagram Repair: You are going to see a flood of content pouring back into my Instagram account soon, and I ask you to please bear with me during the process (it will be quick, but your feed might be flooded for a day or two).

  2. To Share what I’ve learned from all of this so you can protect yourself and your accounts (which likely hold many memories and personal content)

Side Note: If you haven’t already heard about the better.

Equifax Hack, here’s the short version: 143 million Americans sensitive information such as social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, etc. were exposed in a data breach the company discovered on July 29, 2017. (There are 324 million American citizens, just for reference.) Make sure you read about it and scroll to the bottom of the page linked above and click “Potential Impact” to see if your information may have been compromised.

We all know we’re living in a digital world, and the risk of identity theft is just part of it. But here are a few simple safeguards that will go great lengths in protecting your accounts and personal information.

5 Tips To Protect Yourself From Being Hacked:

  1. If you have old email accounts, make sure you are logging in periodically to keep them active. DO NOT let these accounts lie dormant or go inactive! They can become a goldmine for hackers.

  2. Make sure all your accounts have Two-Factor Authentication. This means a password is required as well as a verification code or a security question, etc. In other words, there are two hurdles to jump through in order to access your accounts instead of just a password.

  3. Passwords! If you’re using the same passwords for all your accounts, STOP. Mix it up and make them unique for each account. Try a service like 1Password or something similiar to help you keep track and generate safe passwords.

  4. Be aware of what’s coming in and going out of your accounts. We don’t always th from exposure.

  5. Update to the latest OS for you phone on all devices (including old ipads). Old iPads can be a target to get into other devices. They’re all connected these days.

Disclaimer: I’m not a cybersecurity expert, so please consult one for more in depth information on protecting your identity.

I hope you’re already doing these things or learned something new today that can save you from a potential nightmare. I have missed interacting with all of you and look forward to moving forward with more knowledge and security!

Please have grace for us as my team and I rebuild my pages with content in the coming days. And take steps today to protect yourself and your accounts from cyber thieves!

  1. ink we need to check the latest activity on our own accounts, but if you make a habit of it, then you will have a better chance of catching a cyber criminal early and save your accounts

Chris Capehart1 Comment