…and it’s been a nightmare

Okay, so that is slightly dramatic. But when you make money online and you count on using your computer daily, and having ready access to email – when it’s ripped away from you, it’s pretty traumatic.

Last week, my computer was hit by a virus. It was ugly. Very ugly.

And my external hard drive? Yeah, that apparently bit the dust.

So I was looking at many, many photos and documents that were possibly not recoverable. Yeah, it was crying time.

Thank the good Lord that the peeps over at Staples know what they are doing. It took them several days more than they estimated, but they cleaned up the mess and restored my files. And I got my computer back last night.

But get this…I don’t know if it was part of the whole virus thing or what, but one of my email accounts was compromised. Not once, but twice.

So even if I could get on a computer, I was blocked from sending emails because my account got shut down. Twice.

Lessons here? Well, back up. Back up often. And I have…trying out the cloud now, and boy do I hope the security is in place. I will likely get another external hard drive just to back up once with the major stuff and shove it in a fireproof box. But I think I will go with online back up for the most part.

And also, change your passwords every so often and make them tough. I think the passwords I was using were probably “okay,” but okay doesn’t cut it anymore. They need to be crazy good, secure passwords.

I’m still uploading my programs again, like MS Office and Photoshop, etc. So I am still in the midst of the aftermath. And I’m still scared to lose it all again. But another lesson learned…I survived. I didn’t shrivel up and die. I didn’t keel over and roll up into a little ball and cry myself to sleep at night. Even for a writer who needs her computer and needs her email, I found some work-arounds to get things done and meet my deadlines. I call that a win.

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