Sunday, November 29, 2020

More on the Facebook page hack, plus another NaNoWriMo win.

As this is ostensibly a blog about my writing, I'll put the writing news upfront: I have won NaNoWriMo once again. Go me! 

This makes ten times I've attempted a NaNo event, either NaNo or CampNaNo, and ten times I've won. NaNo gave my avatar a cute laurel wreath to commemorate my tenth win. (The halo is for being a donor to NaNo.) I've had the wreath previously, and it has been growing bigger with each win; the info on the winner's page this time seemed to indicate I'd maxed it out.

Oh, you want to hear about the book? Well! It's a standalone (at this point) that I've been calling Janis, but the title is definitely going to change. When November started, I thought I would be writing a thriller, but no -- several curve balls later, it appears to be either a straight fantasy or a paranormal romance. Probably straight fantasy, as there are no shapeshifters. It's still about a couple of middle-aged folks who get together, after many decades apart, to act against an authority figure who hurt them both when they were kids. One of the themes of the book is that the choices we make have consequences.

Anyway, it needs a ton of editing, as well as a cover and a new title. I'm hoping to publish it this spring, but probably not right at the equinox, as the temp job will be wrapping up at that point. So I'll shoot for publication in April and hope I don't have to push it back.


So about the hackers.

First, I have control of my Facebook page again, so yay for that. The IP people pointed me toward the "I think I've been hacked" people; their Help Center info on the subject talks a lot about how you should just talk to your fellow admins about why they booted you, like I was buddies with these people. There's a link for filing a report if you actually were hacked, but it's not obvious; I probably overlooked it four or five times. Anyway, once I filed my report, Facebook promptly booted the hackers and gave me back my page.

I have now asked them twice about getting the charges reversed for the boosted posts that the hackers took out without my authorization, and I have not received a useful response. I suppose that means I'll have to go spelunking at their Help Center again. UPDATE: I asked Mama Google just now about where to request an ad refund from Facebook, found the proper place to make a report, and... Facebook doesn't think I have an ad account. Which I guess means I won't be charged for those boosts? Stay tuned!

My third concern is the slew of emails I've received over the past few months, each with a bogus account recovery code that I supposedly requested. Here's an example:

I get these nearly every day. Facebook's Help Center says someone probably typed their account name in wrong. Somebody's doing it every day? Really? 

Another thing: While getting my page back, Facebook had me reset my password. I noticed the email I received from them -- from the same email account -- provided me with a six-digit password recovery code. The bogus codes I've been receiving have all been eight-digit codes.

Clearly something's dodgy here, but Facebook doesn't seem inclined to do anything about it. Which brings me to the other thing that bugs me: This whole misadventure started because the hackers sent me a Notification from within Facebook. I gave away my personal info because nobody but a legitimate Facebook department had ever reached me that way before. I was so spooked by the situation that when Facebook logged me out and made me change my password to log back in, I didn't want to do it. How did I know the hackers hadn't gotten control of my account again?

Anyway, I have my author page back and all is well. My message to you guys, though, is to be very, very careful if you receive a message from Facebook -- either in an email or on their platform -- because it might not be Facebook trying to reach you.


These moments of anxious blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Social distance! Wash your hands! Don't become a COVID statistic! 

1 comment:

Lynne Cantwell said...

Thanks so much, Jo!

The flip side to writing 50,000-word novels is that I have a lot of trouble writing poetry. So well done YOU! :)