‘TAKING CONTROL’

‘TAKING CONTROL’

What better way to start my morning than to start with writing…

 

There is a sense of control of the day ahead when I put pencil to paper (or should I say, hand to keyboard!)

 

This blog “theaidworker” is the consequence of the worst experience of my life. Tragic and terribly upsetting but truth be told I am not a victim and will not ever let forces unknown or even those known control my fate. I believe that out of despair if one chooses one can move ahead to be stronger than before the fateful event or situation.

 

The blog is my way of taking control, quizzing my memory, and moving to a better place in life.

 

So here we will start.

 

I was hacked on Jan 21st 2011. My encrypted Google doc account and all Google, AOL, skype, and PayPal accounts as well as bank accounts in many countries were compromised ( but I feel more like my home was invaded!).  The entire system was erased. These villainous people are pro’s. It appears they had identified my library system as early as 2010 October and were waiting for an opportunity to prevail itself with intent to go through my system. I had a library of over 15000 (yes thousand) topics and articles on health, medicine, and wellness. This personal library included my own work, colleagues work, and a variety of online information on topics related to my career in health communications. It also, sadly, included a very private and intimate section with family, friend, and the love of my life correspondence. Because the library was extensive, it must have raised the interest of the hackers. They, wanting to see how far they could hack into my bank accounts. Thankfully, I had protected my accounts with other security and to date the only place they were able to break code was into my encrypted PAY PAL and Skype accounts. They used these accounts for 24 hours.

 

And, then in March, April, and May used my mail list of +500 people worldwide sending a second letter telling everyone I was in a coma, not to call my family, and send money….

 

Thankfully, I have been able to reach many of the people on my list. Thankfully I know of only one person who sent money (one too many but a true dear loving friend).

 

The moral of this story is

 

1)  Google does not help if a user is hacked (see their indemnity clause in fraud section of Google online). The same clauses also are stated at hotmail, yahoo, msn, and others.

 

2) Back up even your emails if they are important to you (I have most of my last five years backed up on hard drives and USB, but assembling this information from storage will take money and time, neither of which I have at this moment).

 

3) Pay for extra online security especially in the case like mine where you are creating an information .system for use when you are away from the internet to surf, or in a far flung location on assignment. I wish I had done this. I am now investigating which sources of storage are best.

 

4) Keep a hard copy and two phones (one for use and one for backup) where all your contact numbers (email, skype, land line, mobile, and postal addresses) are stored. I did not. This is probably the most difficult to recover when ones friends reach into over 100 countries. I am speechless in expressing the grief I am feeling right now because of this loss. I am keenly aware that I will be unable to track down all my friends and associates in far away places. And, worst of all it is difficult at best to remember many of these peoples foreign names. Imagine remembering Islamic or African family names that are needed when identifying addresses. I feel that the loss of my address book is as emotionally upsetting as the loss of my love letters from my man.

 

I must now rely on myself and delve deep into my soul for strength, praying to my god for guidance and an improved memory, to get through the aggravation and frustration and expense of this loss.

 

And so to be empowered beyond this villainous crime, is to do what I do best—– help, coach, and support people.  I am starting up this blog both to give information and to test my brain power to remember my stories on life in the field.

 

My passion to empower others younger than me to become humanitarians and /or enter international fields.

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