Have you been Hacked?

Livestream platforms have been a blessing and a curse at least for me anyway.

Until this week, it’s definitely been more of a curse as I try to learn how to use it each week with new issues that show up after resolving one after the other.  I venture to say we are all having challenges unless you are a big techie and have been using it for business for a long time.

As soon as I get one thing figured out, they change something or make it more secure which requires another step for your users to figure out as well.  I don’t know about you, but every time there is a problem with it, I’m certain I did something wrong and never think it could be one of my participants.  In life in general, we either think everything is our fault or it’s everyone else’s fault.  That is a subject for another time, but one that certainly is worth exploring.  

If you are like me and think it’s your fault, it’s anxiety producing and as we know, when we get anxious our thoughts and wires cross and we can’t think clearly.  At least I can’t.  My heart begins racing and I start pressing buttons and my mind freezes.  I am quickly catapulted back to my high school days when test anxiety took over and my mind went blank.  And there I sat humiliated and embarrassed, frozen and then I’d hear the dreaded bell ring with a blank page and another F.  

Each class I teach on Zoom, I start early, I have all of my settings written down and there are a lot of them between bluetooth, music, sharing a screen, pinning, muting or unmuting, enabling chat, WiFi connection etc.  and I’m not even using chat or sending someone to a breakout session.  

As I’m understanding more and feeling more confident it usually goes fairly well but the connection can be weak and now that I have a 50 ft cord plugged directly into my router and computer, I know that it’s not me and am starting to see it’s someone else’s issue but you still have to know enough to help them.  

People say well that’s not your problem but if you know what it’s like to try to navigate a world you know nothing about and didn’t grow up in, you want to help people with this struggle. Besides, if they can’t get on, why are they going to come back next time?  I also applaud the aging community, me included, to even attempt to navigate this system. KUDOS TO US!

Teaching Yoga and Fitness classes online presents even more challenges in finding the right headset and allowing music which isn’t a great system in Zoom yet so if you are having trouble, IT’S NOT YOU.  And then everyone’s hearing is different and some like it, and some don’t.  Some say it’s too loud, others say, it’s not loud enough.  The list goes on and on.  

As a host you try to find a headset that pairs easily, can be adjusted, won’t fall off and is comfortable.  I’ve had about 5 so far including Airbuds, some bone activator one, Beats 3, Jabra Elite, a microphone plugged in and now I’m going to try Beats Pro.  Jabra so far is great but I can only handle an hour comfortably after adjusting all of the ear inserts.  

The other thing right now, is that so many people are on Zoom, sometimes it’s a network issue especially if others in your home are on meetings as well.  Don’t you wish we bought stock in it?!!!!!

So, back to hacking.  They have been good to stay on top of informing us that we needed to protect our settings to avoid hackers when they found out about it.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have this figured out ahead of time but I suppose how can you project these things when sales increased by the droves.  

It was hard enough for me to get on in the first place so I sure didn’t want to make my life harder than it was or my clients, so I left it open ended.  And besides the feedback I got from my tech savvy kids was, “who’s gonna hack you”.  

As I was teaching Yoga this past week, I knew exactly who was coming plus or minus a couple pending people and then a few minutes into teaching an unrecognizable number came up.  

I said Hi to (the number) and I got no response.  

Hmmmm…. a hacker?  Who would hack little ole me like my kids told me?”

I mean seriously, I have a following but I’m not Sean Corn, Janet Stone or Shiva Ray where you would expect or even invite the more the merrier.  At first I thought nothing of it but then I started wondering what exactly they would be hacking. My moves (all are borrowed in someway anyway), so that’s ok.  My music?  Have at it.  My people in the class? So perhaps they could get their information off my screen and advertise to?  Ewe, I thought, I hope not!  Then the dreaded feeling of being invaded and literally going through and pulling off all of my information stored in my computer.  We all know people who have been taken to the cleaners.  As a matter of fact my tenants father who owns a very high end dry cleaning business was completely hacked and almost lost his whole life savings.

All the while, I continued teaching with this added distraction in my mind, as if I didn’t  have enough already with my cat Ollie or Star coming on screen, or my dog deciding to bark.  In my Tuesday morning class, my husky shepherd, Hunter came in and took a big gulp of my coffee when I was teaching.  One night my husband who was using my ipad accidentally shared his screen and he knows nothing about screen sharing.  

We all know yoga is about staying in the present moment and breathing matching your breath to movement and dropping the next moment but we also know that it takes a lot of brain power and is draining, to keep dropping all of that, stay present and at the same time navigate how to adjust, change and fix the issue if possible. 

My daughter chatted to this person and said “Hi” without any response.  

At the end of class I said “it was great having you in class and now if you want to join us to have a toast ( It’s our S.I.P. UnWine🍷d Wednesday Yoga class), please do.  Still nothing.

HACKED!  There is this feeling of violation, worry, fret when something like this happens to you and it caught me by surprise.  I mean who actually would do that, what could they steal if anything and what did they want?  No sense wasting time on worrying about something you can do nothing about but I like to get to the bottom of things when I can, so I put an email out to all of those I had added or had requested an invite, to see if they by chance couldn’t get in and said we missed them.  The funny thing is one regular couldn’t get on at all.  

All of the responses I got were “sorry I couldn’t end up making it” for one reason or another.  Ok I thought, we were hacked and my daughter confirmed that it was a number that was out of state and saw that it was possibly a spam number.

I responded to each one saying “sorry I missed you and hope to see you next week”.  Then I said, “thanks for letting me know as I’m trying to figure out if I’ve been hacked or not because there was a weird number on my screen”.

Confirmed…. Hacked… Ugh, do I need to change all of my settings, passwords etc?  So, I started down that path.

Finally after a few days, I received a message from a dear friend that said and I quote;

“Busted! Yes, that was me on your Zoom, hoping to show up incognito! I was packing and moving around right before I left for Carmel, and I did sign into your yoga class on my phone. I wanted to just connect and check out your class, and thought I would just be one of lots of folks in the class. And I thought I could hide out and come and go as I please. Definitely was not ready to be seen in a class, and since I was moving around, wasn’t able to respond.  The number that shows up, I’m not sure where that comes from. It’s not my phone #.  You are so in tune! I didn’t expect you to ask who the number was? Some of us want to hide out.” 

So the good news is I wasn’t hacked thank goodness and following through put my mind at ease so I didn’t have to go down the rabbit hole or worry.  

In the meantime, I will set passwords and read all of the information Zoom sends me, listen to my inner voice and not always assume my kids know more than me.  

Have any of you been hacked or do you know?

9 thoughts on “Have you been Hacked?

  1. Glad you are ok! I remember getting hacked in my checking account and some people in China and the UK decided to buy some expensive stuff on my account. That was when i decided it was time to change banks…but that’s definitely a whole blog post in itself!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great blog tonight. You really got it right in expressing how difficult it is for us 60+ Folks in learning new technology and trying not to feel dumb and inadequate in our skills. I think about all we’ve learned to do in the last 30
    years and say “Congrats! we done good, Sister! “ 🙌🙌🙌🙌👏🏻👏🏻

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Annette! Ain’t it the truth but as a teenager (since I’m a leap year baby, I don’t know about that.. ha!). I’m afraid it’s true! Just when I learn something, There’s something new or I forget what it was. 🤣! For sho we have 🙌🙌🙌💕

      Liked by 2 people

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