And I Am a Loser

Hello my readers. A very fantastic day to you all. Today, I am here to tell you about my personal story. Well, not a boring one but something you should be aware of and you should learn and never repeat the mistake which I did.

On 23rd May 2023, around 2.30pm – 3pm IST, my Instagram account got hacked. And I am solely responsible for this hacking. You all know that I was an ex-website programmer. In the year 2008 – 2015, I was into Facebook and Twitter coding for fetching data and analysis. Looking at these websites, I always had the curiosity to know how these website loads huge data including no. of counts, few comments, photo, name, followers count, following count, post count, etc, etc in one go and in microseconds time and without page refresh, how notification works etc. Apart from this, I always wonder how privacy / security works. So, I did this. Back then, I created around 4 accounts on Facebook, opened different browsers, and started checking from how friend requests works, what’s the difference between friends-of-friends, once a photo is uploaded then a third person will be able to stalk this or not , etc. I juggled a lot between the browsers and I found that many privacy settings were not up-to-the mark. Yes, the privacy of Facebook was not at all secure (in and around the year 2008-2015).

Months and years passed, I made many Facebook apps and finally I became pro in Facebook. I was even awarded by one of my companies for pulling out all the content of a Facebook page, posting content / photo / video on a friend’s wall through an app. So, I was well aware that I can do anything on a friend’s timeline without their permission. Though that time, all data was provided by Facebook, still one kind of security breach. So I was fully aware that I have to use social media very carefully. I should not miss any notification from them. And have to check privacy settings very often.

When I started my career, one of my renown websites was hacked. I had my learning and from that day, I started writing code and queries very carefully. And I never took these hackers lightly. I always wrote code thinking hacker in my mind.

Now, I have been a housewife for the past 8 years. So this coding and hacking has taken a completely new face. And in these 8 years, I became addicted to social media. Yes, I upload my personal photos / videos on Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp status but I always took care of my privacy settings. I have very few followers because I want only a few people to see those photos / videos. Not only that, over time when the privacy settings changed on Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, I activated that. Means, few people from my followers were not allowed to see  the stories I shared, were not permitted to see my Whatsapp profile pic and Whatsapp status, etc. Not only that, If I have saved someone’s else number like delivery man, laundry man, etc and if they are on whatsapp, then I block them.

So this is me. Addicted to Social media  but with hell lots of privacy settings on and  always guided and encouraged other people to take complete usage of these settings. And on 23rd May, 2023 everything changed. 

Few days before 23rd May, On Instagram, I got a friend request from one of my friends. I know her personally and her work, so I accepted it. After accepting, she messaged me on Instagram messenger that she is running one modelling contest and she needs my “Vote”. My friend, who is a life coach, has complete knowledge on fashion, social worker, and always helping nature n hence I didn’t get a second doubt on her. I replied, “Ok, but how and where to vote”. Many days passed and there was no response from her and I even forgot about it.
So on 23rd May, this was our conversation.

She: Hey for voting, I want you to add this Email ID for 3 minutes and later you can change it again (gave one email id, I don’t remember it now)
Me: Ok, But where should I add it?
She: You have to go to your profile, edit your personal settings, click on “Add email ID” (sends few screenshots)
Me : Ok
* Me went  back to profile, edit the personal settings*
She: Add this Email ID (Sends me Email ID)
Me: * Me left that editing, went back to messenger, to copy that Email ID. Come back to personal settings. Here, I was surprised to see the new settings of adding / changing the Email ID. So I added her Email ID. Instagram then asks me for secret code (OTP) which was sent in the other email ID*
She: *Gives me the secret code in Instagram messenger*
Me: *Leaves the editing part. clicks on several back, to go to messenger just to copy that secret code. Went back to edit my profile but since previously I had clicked on “back” hence all the work was undone. So I did all the procedures again. Here I was a little frustrated because of back and forth. Since the procedure was done again. I needed that OTP again. But this time OTP was of 4-5 digits only and hence I was able to remember it and directly typed it. In this frustration, I was about to click back just to tell her that don’t message me on Instagram. Whatsapp me instead. And in the meantime.*
She: Send me your whatsapp number

… and this sentence killed me …  

She is my friend and she HAS my number. My hands and legs were numb. and then I shouted. “SHIT. This is not my friend. My instagram is hacked”. I called that friend, and she told me that her own instagram account has been hacked. Her account has been cloned too.

The last step, instagram asked me was, “This is me / This is not me”. I swear guys, I clicked on “This is not me”. but it didn’t work and I got logout from my account.  I immediately ran, took out my laptop. Firstly, I changed the password of my other accounts. and then I came back to change the password of my personal account. But my email ID was changed to the email ID which was given by them. All the password reset link  and other links were going to the hacker’s email ID.

I reported to instagram about his hacking. Even wrote an email to them. Even send messages on twitter and Linkedin. But seriously, no response / no automated email from them. Then this thing happened on Linkedin.

Since I had posted on Linkedin about my hacking, I got comments from a few unknown people saying that the instagram help center is the worst and they never care about such issues. They then gave me some email ids and also their instagram account and told me to contact them. Now since I was not at peace, I contacted one on instagram from my other account. We had a few chats and then I was like; “Wait, now don’t believe anyone.” I then went to linkedin and saw the people’s account who commented on my post. To my surprise they had 0 connections. I was like, how come they don’t have any connections on linkedin. I saw their profiles in detail, to which I saw that they have commented the same thing to almost everyone whose instagram account was hacked. I immediately stopped the chat session and blocked the account.

Now, what’s next? I am still finding my luck to retrieve my account. Even asked a few ex-colleagues. One of my friends suggested to report this to cyber crime.  I got a few emails from the internet and emailed them. I got a response from one of them too. Later, I went to twitter to search for some handles there. And this is what I got from twitter. The Cyber crime had mentioned the exact same procedure of how hacking takes place on Instagram. After reading their tweet I felt like a complete loser. I was the one who used to guide everyone about social media safety, and I only fell into the trap. Why didn’t I get  a second thought? I mean who changes the email ID like this? I was the one, I myself gave the complete access of my personal account to the hacker. I, who made many, many, many voting modules in life, completely, horribly failed to understand that we cannot vote by changing the email ID of someone else ID. I, who wrote many validations, completely failed to check the username of the cloned ID.

I, who was once a proud web programmer, now a complete failure. Can’t even imagine myself in such a situation. A very big nah-nah-nah-boo-boo for me.

If you are from India, and your social media account is hacked then you should definitely do this process. You have to fill a form on this website. . The form is lengthy but please have patience to fill it. At least you will be safe from your side that you have reported the problem.

Yes, I am a loser. A Big Loser.

Update 1: I was checking my profile from my other account. Since I have very few followers, hence checking the follower / following list is not a huge task for me. This is what I found. I request you all to “report” this account. This is a fake account.

Also, one thing I noticed is this website link. The account who hacked my ID had the same website link. So requesting you all, if you get any request which has this website link, then please do not accept that request. It might be the hacker.

Have a safe social networking.

Wordless Wednesday – Roots

Hello my fabulous readers. A very good day to all. Today is Wednesday, and for the past many years, I was constantly waiting for Wednesday just to write on wordless Wednesday. I even kept reminders for it. but for some other reasons, I always failed to write on it. So, I gave up and deleted that reminder from my mobile.

Today, thinking about what to do next, this wordless Wednesday came to mind. I soon decided that I would incorporate Wordless Wednesday posts into my blog. Wordless Wednesdays is the most popular blog posts.

What is this wordless wednesday? Wordless Wednesday is a day to share an image or images that speak for themselves. So here is my image and this pic clearly states that the roots should be strong enough to stand tall.

This snap was taken by me at Pine Tree Forest, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. Hope you liked my post. Hoping for a more wordless Wednesday from my side. Do like and comment. Pingbacks will be appreciated. Thanks.

The Lost Letters

Hello my readers. A very good day to all. We have almost completed 3 months of 2023 and covid is still around. It’s good that we all know how to deal with it now. But don’t forget, we still have some idiots out there.

This covid brought us an OTT platform, and believe me this is the best thing that has happened these days. Even the series are much better than the daily soaps. But recently, I have almost stopped watching web series and prefer watching songs on YouTube or go for some cartoon movies. Because the web series and even the movies have more foul language and less dialogue. In such a series, even kids say ‘f**k off’ to their parents. Such foul language makes me uncomfortable. Not because my daughter listens and watches it, but because the dialogues contain only such words and no pleasant words at all. The letter is lost. The Letter ‘L’. ‘L’ for ‘Lenient’. Meaning; mild, tolerant, not harsh. So I also did f**k off to such series and movies.

Scrolling through social media is my time pass. Mostly I watch all the dance moves. But recently, I am back with my coding memes. Feels like I am slowly developing my love again. But soon, I literally started ignoring the stuff I love. and I started commenting on the random stuff who ‘think’ they are great and ‘Think’ that they are educating us. So I give them one tight slap comment. Lets see how far and for how much time it goes far. Here, the Letter E is lost. ‘E’ for ‘Enthrall’. Meaning; To hold something interestingly or someone’s attention. So I am wasting my time on watching those videos and commenting on them and also generating revenue for them.

This social media or OTT platform, makes us more depressed. Even comedy movies are not so comedy anymore. Infact, they show dark stories in a comedy way. We find our relaxation in  television, but we end up wasting time in searching for a good channel or good movies. The happy ending doesn’t have any happiness in it. In fact it gives the feeling like “thank god, the movie got over”. Such movies and social media have the missing letter ‘T’. ‘T’ stands for ‘Tranquility’. Meaning; a feeling of calm, an absence of excitement. There is absolutely no calmness in social media and no excitement in watching those 100Cr club movies.

I sometimes don’t understand what message the movie wants to convey. Recently I saw one movie, where the government denies help to the finest agent making him the most wanted villain. The villain, not only smart in reading the minds of criminals, but also master in technology. So, why do movies portray that the government is actually the villain and will never help the finest person in the world, Making the Letter ‘T’ missing. Here ‘T’ stands for ‘Towering’, Meaning; great importance or influence. I greet such movies with boos and hisses.

The Lost Letters

As I mentioned earlier, movies and social media are entertainment for us. But the behavior I developed is embittered. I become very edgy sometimes. Movies are no more entertainment now. They are more of actions and crime, even portray their own family members as villains which forces the letter ‘E’ to get out. Here ‘E’ stands for ‘Emulate’. Meaning; Try to do something good. Still waiting for good movies.

Such movies are razzle-dazzle. I think after covid, all movies left the letter ‘R’. ‘R’ stands for ‘Ruminate’. Meaning; think deeply about something. Actually, many months, I guess years have passed, movie aftermath, I haven’t thought deeply about the script. “Why and how did it end like this? What was the link? How did it get connected?” etc etc. Only one think come in my mind is “When will this movie end?”

Movies never forget their disclaimer. “Smoking is injurious to health”, “Drinking is injurious to health”. But the script and mainly VFX is such that all teetotalers will start drinking and smoking. Sorry ‘S’ no space for you. Letter ‘S’ Stands for ‘Satiny’ (finishing like a satin) or ‘Snugly’ (comfortable, sheltered and warm) or ‘Sanguine’ (Optimistic and positive). So in the end, a depressed person will be more depressed. because all the LETTERS are LOST.
L – Lenient
E – Enthrall
T – Tranquility
T – Towering
E – Emulate
R – Ruminate
S – Satiny or Snugly or Sanguine.

Hey readers, hope you like my off-beat content. Do like and comment. Pingback will be appreciated. Also do read my similar post.
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