As many of you know last week my @GinsburgJobs twitter account was hacked and stolen. I thank all of those that followed me to my other account @AndrewSGinsburg and then were happy to see me get my account back.
Here’s what happened, I was contacted by a Verify Twitter account; a Verified Twitter account has a blue checkmark on it and is usually held by politicians, celebs, and other thought leaders. I was flattered and excited at the thought Twitter thought I was enough of a thought leader to have one of those blue check marks, and I liked the idea of having one.
They asked me to fill out a form and said the checkmark would be on my account in 10 minutes. Btw, you can’t request a checkmark, Twitter must contact you if they deem you worthy. The form asked me to fill in my password, this bothered me. So I looked at their site more and the Twitter logo was front and center and I decided that everything would be ok. Big Mistake.
Turns out they were a fraudulent account just out to get people’s passwords. The second I typed my password in they took over my account, changed the name and email address associated with my account. I had no access to it. I was more angry at myself for being so stupid as to type in my password than I was at the people who did this to me. Flashing in my head was many many moons ago AOL always saying “We will never ask you for your password.”
I filed a report to Twitter Support, they were unable to locate @GinsburgJobs or my email associated with it. This, of course, was because the thieves had changed the username and email address associated with this account.
The next day, I don’t remember how, I found the new owner of my account that I had spent years building my global respect and large following was now in the hands of a pic of a young woman posting pics of Justin Bieber. It was such a weird feeling, seeing my account, my favorites, my pics and videos, my list of “people to watch” all there in front of me but belonging to someone else.
Within an hour or so of my account being stolen one of my followers sent me an email asking where I was, she had come on Twitter and catch up on the news and information I felt was worth sharing. Turns out, her son is a computer programmer and the 2 of them were extremely useful in getting my account back.
This follower had read an article saying take as many screen shots as you can to send to Twitter to make your case more valid. Her son, knowing a lot more about computers than I do, was able to find my account in cached google searches, he also found some site that showed the account history by date from the past 12 months. I took screen shots of all of that. Also, like I mentioned earlier, the thieves left my favorites and most of my pics. All the favorites were addressed to me @GinsburgJobs, screen shot. There were pics of me and my niece in her pics, screen shot.
It took a couple of very stressful days before Twitter Support got back to me, but once I sent them a detailed email describing what happened and all of the screen shots they immediately gave me the account back. Of course I changed my password. I was also afraid they might have been able to hack my computer itself, so I called Apple and they had me do a few tests that showed it was not hacked. But they recommended changing all of my passwords which I did.
Yes, everyone knows don’t give out your password. I wanted to share this story because sometimes we slip up and do. I wanted to remind everyone, never share any passwords.
Thanks to all for sticking with me!