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Hacked & Attacked: Lessons Learned

Guy with mask on
Photo by Luther Bottrill

One Friday morning, I woke up to a slew of messages on LinkedIn. Some caring while some offensive. As I worked through responding to these direct messages, I found out that someone hacked into my account and sent a personal spam message to every one of my LinkedIn connections. 

As I realized this, I knew that it was going to take more than a few responses and follow-ups to respond to; yet a much larger undertaking. I feel it is important and necessary to share my insights that I believe are invaluable in any professional situation we may find ourselves in from time to time. 

Lesson #1: Things happen that sometimes you are responsible for cleaning up the mess.

While I was disappointed that someone felt hacking into my account was a good business practice, I could not focus on what someone else had done: it didn't matter at that point. It was going to be up to me to solve, fix and repair the damage that had been done and also maintain the integrity of my network.

While Mr. "Middleton," made the mess, I was responsible for being the cleaning crew.  As a leader, a person of influence and/or team player, you may find yourself apart of the cleaning crew even though you had no parts in the mess. 

Lesson #2 Always leave an opportunity to get an understanding and choose compassion before jumping to conclusions without it. 

Most connections were very compassionate and understanding; however, others assumed ill on my intent and requested I remove them as my connection.  I can understand some people's natural response to close up and cut off, but a small clarification and what the message was would have given me the opportunity to stay connected. 

Be open for clarification as not doing so could limit your relationships for the currency of success is built on relationships. 

Lesson #3 Take the bad and make good of it, yes you can make good of it. 

"For every seed of adversity, there is an equivalent advantage" (Napoleon Hill).

While I didn't want to spend part of my Friday, Saturday, and Sunday fixing this issue, it made for a great learning opportunity.  I had the chance to catch up and get reacquainted with old co-workers, classmates, professional cohorts and associates that got lost in the shuffle as life does sometimes. 

I began to see as I personally sent a message to each of my connections how blessed I am to be connected with a large pool of highly talented and purpose-driven individuals. 

I also started to see all possibilities and how this could help me help others: hence this post. 

Had not someone decided not to go into my account, I am not sure this post could be produced. 

Grateful and Wiser

I thank everyone in my network who reached out with compassion, understanding and slight humor as I worked through fixing my account and all other accounts connected to LinkedIn.  I want to personally thank Mr. Larry Meador  in his efforts to report my account to LinkedIn security as well.

I appreciate his professionalism and teamwork, it was helpful! The obstacle is worth it if you were willing to grow, learn and be better from it; if not, you're just wasting time. No matter what: embrace possibilities!

For more information on what to do in the event, it may happen to you, click here.


Ever you ever been hacked or privacy violated? Share your story!


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