Last week, I was up early and checking e-mail.
I checked on an e-mail account I have with a client, and discovered I had sent myself an urgent email. Sent myself an urgent email. From the sound of it I really needed my help.
Since I wasn’t in Scotland, I knew I hadn’t written it. But who had?
I tried accessing my Hotmail account. I could not.
Once had I incorrectly type the password enough times–even though I was typing the password correctly–I got the box with the letters and numbers all bunged together, but typing them didn’t help either.
Microsoft nicely kicked me into the Secret Question answer page, but my answer apparently was not correct.
I did not know my state or zip code, either.
I didn’t have the correct password, the correct Secret Question answer, the correct state, nor the correct zip code.
I had, in a word, been hacked.
Having Microsoft e-mail a reset link to my “alternative e-email” sent it…somewhere.
One learns, after too many years and too many attempts, that one can NEVER come up with the right combination of words when posing a question in the Microsoft Help section to get an answer. Combinations such as “someone has taken over my Hotmail account” and “I cannot access my Hotmail account” only served up the same page, which was the “How to reset your password with the Secret Question answer” page.
That page, of course, does not have a link to a page named, oh, “What to do if somebody hacks your Hotmail.”
So one turns to Google for answers.
Typing “Someone has hacked my hotmail account” returned numerous hits, the first one being from the WindowsLive site. The first post was the following:HELP!! my hotmail and ebay accounts have both been hacked, I have managed to get my ebay account back as they were really helpful, but I am still waiting to find out what is happening with my hotmail account. I have been in touch with hotmail/microsoft, filled in the on line forms as best i can, but I am still waiting for a reply. is there any thing I can do to speed up the process of reclaiming my account? I’ve had the account for something like 8 or 9 years so you can imagine the number of contacts i have built up! the email address that was hacked is I-am-a-Dope@Hotmail.com Can anyone help? thank you
What I found interesting/sad was that this person just plopped her email address out there, willy-nilly, as it were. Why would you put your email in a forum? It’s not as if you were having a one-to-one with someone who could actually help you. Did this person think that ANYBODY could give them the answer? And even if anybody could, the address isn’t relevant; it’s not like the solution would only work for that particular address…
Turns out, many many people expect the universe to sort out their problem. On the first page alone were more than 50 e-mail addresses. Some of the posts were, well, here are some posts:I am happy to privide a reward for recovering a Hotmail account. I need a hotmail account recovered that was hijacked. ++++++++++++ GRRRRRR! I am also a dissatisfied Microsoft Hotmail account owner right now!!! My 2 hotmail accounts have been messed with for 1 year and NO ONE has given me any help ++++++++++++ my hotmail account was hacked yesterday. I need my account back. I have important e-mails there and have been using it for years now. Someone please help me. ++++++++++++ hey, cant you guess the secret question?
It’s a sorry state of affairs when NO ONE can get to the right place in the MicroSoft sphere…
The other interesting thing is that SOME posters gave the complete text of what to do, without providing where to go to get the solution.
I found the solution on a site called ThatDanny.com. He wrote some article on on what to do, but of course it was not helpful in the least (“change your password”). BUT, one of his posters had the answer, which was a link to a page in Microsoft Help:
I’m glad I work with computers every day; it was somewhat frustrating (natch) to work out what to do to get reunited with my email account, but I could do it.
Clearly, not everybody is as diligent/knowledgeable as I am in this area. For me, it was a pain in the…nose. For them, it’s practically catastrophic.
Here’s to hoping computing in general gets easier.