As time has gone on, we’ve seen some fantastic inventions. The car. Airplanes. Computers. Phones. Social Media. But with these inventions there is always the lowest form of human element – hackers and theives.
They’ve been with us since the beginning of time. There are always those who think if you have something they are entitled to it. But, with the advent of the computer and the internet, hackers have been able to easily access accounts, abscond with bank account information, birthdates and other private information they need to then reek havoc on a person.
This week, my Facebook account was hacked. My profile. Which then offered access to my business account. My ads. My credit card and more. I spent Tuesday morning on the phone with credit card companies, banks etc. locking down my accounts. As I was on the phone with my bank a charge came through which I did not place and we were able to stop that account. I had to cancel my card and order a new one. I’ll likely do that with all of my cards just because the thieving bastards are a few steps ahead of me.
By two in the afternoon, thirteen hours after they accessed my Facebook profile the hackers had removed me from my author page, my other business pages and removed any admins I had on those pages as well. They wiped me off of Facebook.
So, what about Facebook? I saw at 3:30 a.m. that the hackers had accessed my account. I only saw that because they had posted disgusting videos on my account which Facebook then flagged. Then I lost all access. I have a person who works with me on my ads. She was an editor on my ads account and I contacted her by six in the morning. Three hours. She managed to take screenshots of the hackers’ emails and reported the account to Facebook who said they’d escalate the issue. But they didn’t. By 2:00 p.m. the hackers were still removing me and all admins from my pages. Where was Facebook’s escalation? They should have stopped all activity from that account the instant it was reported. They didn’t.
So, I’ll say I assumed this would happen. I’ve seen countless authors have this happen to them. It’s infuriating because we’re the ones not doing anything wrong and yet if feels as if Facebook is protecting the hackers. I have no way to appeal my profile removal. No way to contact anyone. When I try, I receive a message that says I’ve tried too many times and I have to wait 24 hours. Meanwhile, the hackers aren’t stopped for 24 hours. They’re happily removing things from my profile.
So, my warning, and yes this is a warning. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Don’t only have profiles on Facebook, you have no protection to Facebook not removing you or helping you when someone hacks into your account. Don’t only have a Twitter profile – same thing. Don’t only have an Amazon account, because when they decide you are no longer allowed to review books anymore, you have no way to appeal. I know many, many readers whose Amazon review privileges have been removed. No reason why, just their vague, “unusual activity” and nothing for proof. So, open an Apple Books account or a Barnes & Noble account so you have more than one place to get your books and leave reviews.
As for me, I’ll work through this, but I’ll no longer work at building a profile on a site that does not value my time and effort. There are others out there. For me, my website is mine. It’s my home base. Follow me here – https://pjfiala.com Everything going on in my book world is right here. I blog regularly, you can follow my blog here – https://pjfiala.com/blog On the right hand side of the page is a box that says, “Follow the Blog”. Add your email and when I blog you’ll receive a notification.
Thank you for being here for me and know that I appreciate you all so very much.