My apologies if you got a weird email from my old account last night. I may have given you advice about working from home. I may have asked you whether or not you were truly happy and how you could find out if you were. The thing is that it wasn't really me.
I got hacked. Not exactly sure how. It might have been because I logged into a public computer and forgot to log out. It might have been because I used a simple password – no digits, no crazy symbols – that didn't take long for a dictionary crawling utility to figure out.
Anyway, however they did it, someone – or some program – had access to my primary Google account. I don't use the email address associated with it any longer, but it still contains access to a lot of services that I use on a regular basis. Among them are Reader, Docs, YouTube and this blog.
Google disabled the account not long after their system realized I was sending a bunch of spam emails in a very short period of time. A good move on their part, but kind of scary. I got a message that my account was locked, but I wasn't sure how long it'd be, or if my data was still available. I was afraid that I might never have access to any of my stuff ever again. That means that I wouldn't be able to upload new videos to my YouTube account, for instance. And no access to Blogger would mean that this blog – at this particular address, at least – would effectively die.
Luckily, Google got back to me about an hour after I sent in a support ticket. I promptly changed my password and took a nice big sigh of relief.
But I'm still a little unsettled by the event. Not so much that my account was compromised; more because I realized that with Google, I put a lot of my eggs in one basket. That's risky enough as is, but as it turns out, it isn't necessarily a basket that I have a lot of control over.
I like a lot of the services that Google provides – I mean, duh, that's why I use them – but I've realized that it makes a lot more sense for my sanity, privacy and security for me to spread my stuff around. Maybe use different accounts for different services. Or use different services altogether.
I haven't really come to any conclusions yet. And I'm thankful that everything was returned to me promptly and with minimal fuss. (Though it is a little awkward explaining to some people that I didn't really send them that email about working from home. Like screaming something in a restaurant and having to explain that you have Tourette's.) But I'm feeling a little insecure – datawise, at least – after this little crisis.