Later, "Imogen, did you send an email to V with the subject Urgent?" Mum called.
"Urgent with a number?"
"No. I got one of those too."
Mum looked serious. "Imogen, I think you've been hacked."
I wasn't quite sure what to do with that news. Panic? Laugh it off? Blow up the computer? hacking wasn't something I'd come across before. The first thing was to warn everyone about the emails, which was easily done.
Following Mum and Dad's advice, I set up a new email account, copied out all my contacts onto a piece of paper, and sent off a couple of emails. There, now everything would be fine. I'd tell everyone about my new email address and forget about being hacked.
That was right before one of my freshly sent emails bounced straight back with an attachment. An attachment? But it had been a two liner. I hadn't attached anything. With a sinking heart I hurried to show my new problem to Dad.
Dad took one look at my email and diagnosed the problem. "It's a virus on your computer. Do you have Malwarebytes?"
"No." What was that?
"No." I'd never heard of that either.
"Well, what do you have?"
"That's no good." Dad took my netbook from my hands and with a few clicks of the mouse had both Malwarebytes and Defender installed. "Now let's do a scan."
We set the scans going, while, on another computer we set up yet another email account. I sent off my emails yet again and waited in fear and trembling. Would I immediately get an email with a sneaky attachment? No, luck was with me. Everything was fine.
In netbookland things were looking up too. "I found three viruses. They're gone now. It's safe to use the netbook."
It might be safe now, but I'm still left with a big mess. Contacts have to be added to my address book. I have to tell people my new email address, change the address used to sign into places like facebook. The hacking problem may be sorted, but the side effects are just beginning.
Have you had problems with your computer? Have you been affected by the recent hackings? I'd love to hear your stories.