SENSE & SENSITIVITY
Identity theft leads to ongoing anxiety
DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel so insecure about my email address now. About two years ago, my social media and email, which were linked, were hacked. The hackers got so deep in my personal information that I had to create a new Facebook page because the hackers changed all my security questions. They stole my identity. It was horrible, but I started over.
I just got a message from Google that somebody tried to hack into my account. The notification asked me to go in and change my password, which freaked me out because I wasn’t sure if the alert itself was an attack. I decided not to change my password from my phone and did it separately as a precaution. But I’m so worried that somebody is going to get into my information again. I can’t stop having email and social media. That’s the way of the world now. What can I do? -- Hacked, Tulsa, Oklahoma
DEAR HACKED: You are right to be concerned and cautious. As you may know, Equifax was hacked, which will likely affect lots of us in some way with our most personal and valuable information. As far as Google or any other portal where you have a password, the recommendation has always been to change your password often and to make it complicated enough that it is not easy to figure out. It is also important to have malware protection on your computer to make it more difficult for hackers to get into your system.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.