Saturday, May 21, 2011

Even in dark times, there is light!

I am a huge advocate of staying positive and trying to see the bright side of life especially through the hardest of times. On the flip side I am a realist and I understand that this is a difficult task that requires consistent reminding to ourselves. Nevertheless a smile upon our face and taking things with a grain of salt can somehow make even the bumpy roads feel a little bit smoother.

Here is a good personal example of this. I begin every day in pretty much the same way. I get up at 4 AM and proceed to brew my morning coffee as I feed my dog and cat. Afterwards I head down to my home office, log onto my computer and I begin each day by checking my email accounts. As a business owner I have about 8 separate accounts that are used for all different purposes ranging from customer feedback to business and PR.

So while I am in the process of signing into one of the accounts I realize that it is prompting me to change my password. As strange as this seemed at the time, I confirmed that this was not a phishing page and decided to go along with the request. Everything seemed legitimate as I receive a conformation at my secondary email address confirming the change.

So I then attempt to sign in but was unsuccessful in doing so. It kept looping me back to a "verify password" screen. At this time I began to worry that this email address had been comprise and hacked into. However I wasn’t very worried as I do not use it for personal information and it is used for very limited client contact.

And so, I attempted to try and get email support for the error and while doing so, I was informed that this email address was indeed compromised and that there was scheduled maintenance being performed on the email client server. I would need to wait until later in the day to log into it. During this time, I am assuming the worst. What did this hacker do to my account and how many spam emails we sent out to people on my behalf? I would have to wait to find out.

Later in the afternoon I again attempted to sign in and presto, success at last! Not much seemed out if place except that I had four emails form past clients. These clients all took the time to inform me that they had receive spam from my email address and that they were aware that it had to be some type of problem with a hijacked account. I quickly responded to each of them explaining that my information had indeed been compromised and that the emails did not originate from me sending them out.

What happened next was amazing. Most of the clients responded back to me saying that it was no big deal. However, two of the four clients added that ironically, they had been waiting to book another hypnosis session with me to work on other areas that they want to improve and that they just have not gotten around to doing so.

So in the end, what seemed like a bad start to a bad day turned out to actually be beneficial in the long run. The spam email that they received from my email address acted as sort of a reminder to them and they went ahead and booked a hypnosis session with us. I guess in strange way, I sort of owe this hacker a little bit of gratitude because thanks to him or her, I have two additional clients for hypnosis next week. So you see, even in what might seem like the darkest of times, things have a funny way of working themselves out and are not as bad as they seem.

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