Themes

Oops! I got hacked.

Here’s to new beginnings!  I just set up a brand new Instagram account. New name, same art love.  You’ll find it here.

Extra note: even though I got hacked (and yes, that’s something that happens these days and yes it’s scary) It’s not my intention at all to leave you scared that something similar will happen to you. As you will read in the story below I did a very, very stupid thing that caused the hack. Also, to keep your account save, have a look at these Instagram guidelines.

It’s been eleven days since it happened. And after quite a stressful period of sending emails, doing research and stalking Instagram I think it’s time to face the music: ArtisticMoods’ Instagram account got hacked and I don’t think it’s coming back. Oops!

Since then I have been receiving lots of questions about what happened as my account disappeared offline right away. So foremost, this post is to let you know that I’m back! Starting at the very beginning again, I opened a new account.

I don’t want to dwell too much on what happened. I’m also a bit tired of the whole issue and and at this point I just want to move on with things. But as this also has some consequences for the blog and I can imagine that people may be wondering what caused this, there are some things I want to share here.

The Blog

For me, the ArtisticMoods Instagram account was more than a place where I share inspiration. It was an important part of my business. A place where I reached out to so many of you and where I collaborated with with artist and art organizations, which I offered exposure. These collaborations allowed me to spend a good amount of time on my blog, which is what I love doing besides working on my ceramics (really, this combination of writing about art and making things myself is GOLD for me). So yeah, this happening has been quite damaging for my business. As the holiday period is also a busy period for my ceramics I will be focusing on that for these last few weeks of this year. But: new posts will be shared as soon as January is here. That’s a promise!

So What Happened?

Obviously that’s a question I’ve been getting a lot. And I was quite hesitant to share this because I feel pretty stupid about the whole thing. But I think I should as this may be a lesson that avoids someone getting into a whole lot of  trouble one day: I clicked a link. I clicked on a freakin link I received in my email, which set the whole hacking thing into motion. A link of which I was so sure it came from Instagram as it looked so so authentic, except it wasn’t. Within the hour my account was gone. I received messages from the hacker asking me if I wanted my account back. I never answered them, but I assumed they wanted money in return. Call me stubborn, but I wouldn’t pay a hacker if he asked me 50 cents. So eventually my account ended up being deleted.

Deleted?

Well, I thínk it got deleted. I’m about 95% sure. The help I have been getting from Instagram and Facebook (who owns Instagram) is pretty much non existent and I have read lots of stories of people who experienced the same. Don’t get me wrong, my feelings about Instagram are bitter sweet as their network has allowed me to reach out to so many art lovers and it’s there where I continue to share my ceramics with lots of people (and for this I’m very thankful). But when something like this happens, you will end up in a loophole of receiving tons of automated messages that, in my case, didn’t get me any further. I won’t list down all the why’s and how I figured this all out (like I mentioned, I’m a bit tired), but let’s just say that at this point I’m pretty sure it’s gone.

A note to artists

One last thing I do want to share particularly relates to those who share their art online. You may be sharing your work on Instagram or Facebook with lots of success, and that’s great. I do think it is wise to spread your exposure though so that in the event of something happening to that platform, you will have other ways to reach out to your audience. Write a blog or start a newsletter. Pinterest can also be a great platform for sharing visual art. You may not see as much interaction there, but it’s a good spot to lead audience to your website or shop (or any other place on the web that’s important for you). It’s not at all my intention to scare anyone (remember, I pressed a link which caused the hack) but who knows what happens in the future. In general, depending on one channel to reach people just seems a bit risky and not at all necessary.

I think that’s all I have to say about this. Don’t be silly like me, don’t click on links if you have even the slightest suspicion about it! I must say, even though it sucked, I’m pretty calm about things. At this point I’m just super thankful for the love and interest I continue to receive on my ceramics. That’s what’t allowing me to move forward with all of this.

And that’s what I’m doing now. Moving forward. Come have a peek at this brand new Instagram I just started!

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