One of my computer accounts was recently hacked. Thank goodness for the friend who called and told me that I had been hacked. Hacking, according to, is  using “a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system.” 

Credit: Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The creep who hacked me erased everything in this particular account as well as in my address file.

The following is what the hacking email contained:

“How are you? Hope you are fine? Can you confirm you receive my mail? Can I ask you for a favor?
Thank you,

I received this same hacking email in another of my accounts that did not use my name in its address.

After I learned my account had been hacked, I telephoned people to warn them against opening or responding to any email that appeared to be from me. A retired lawyer whom I called gave a little chuckle and told me that he had been hacked innumerable times. Another friend whom I had not contacted for quite a while said, “At least hacking makes people get in touch with each other.”

Several people told me that they had opened the email but knew it was not from me because of the way it was written. My niece said that her son had warned her against the email by saying, “This is not from Aunt Peggy.” 

Anyone who opened the hacking email would then receive a request to purchase some gift cards for one of my (unnamed) relatives. One of my friends told me that she responded to this request with a statement that she was “not able to give the requested amount at that time.” She then received a request for a smaller amount to which she gave the same response.  She admitted that she wondered why I was making a monetary request from her when I had relatives who could help.

Sigh! It would have been better had she NOT responded at all.

There were folks who called me because they questioned the authenticity of the email and did not respond to it. 

So, why am I sharing this?

It is because HACKING makes a lot of people lose money, computer data and even reputations.

If a message does not seem in character with the person or company from whom it says it is sent, DO NOT CLICK ON IT.

I am sure I was hacked because I clicked on a message that I thought came from my computer company. The message had the company’s logo on it. But when I telephoned the company for help, I learned that the company had not sent that message.


Computer users, BEWARE!

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...