So, sometime last Friday afternoon, my author email address was hacked and used to send out several different kinds of spam to simply everybody on my contacts list, for which I apologize abjectly. It’s some small comfort that a good many of the addresses in it were no longer valid. And at least the spammers weren’t pushing anything acutely embarrassing, as when my other personal email account was hacked last year and used to send a pitch for Viagra to a great many people on my email list, one of whom was a friend of the male persuasion, who immediately sent a reply message to me, “Oh, Celia – I didn’t know you cared!”

It’s the second time in a year that this has happened, and Yahoo client services are getting so impossible to work with that I am throwing in the towel and establishing a new email address at gmail. I don’t suppose that gmail will be any more hack-proof than any other server, but at least this affords the opportunity to revise my contacts listing – and hey, now I know how many of them are now invalid. But it is still a bit of a pain to go through and revise my contacts list and transfer it over from yahoo to gmail – and I will have to revise my business cards and printed marketing materiel as well.
I was trying to explain this to my dear sainted mother, who is 83 – and let it be made plain, is one of those who has only heard tell of this internet thing, and most of that being no good at all. “Mom, it’s like someone has stolen your address book, and is using your current address to send torrents of stupid junk mail to every single person in it.” Whereupon Mom replied that she was glad that she didn’t have anything to do with the internet … overlooking, of course, that I make much of my current living through exploiting certain aspects of the internet, and that my daughter and I replaced just about every one of her much-loved and re-read volumes of Helen MacInnes novels, the originals of which were burned in the 2003 brushfire that took the retirement house that she and Dad had built.

So, I would no sooner go to the most dangerous segments of the internet than Mom would visit some of the shadier neighborhoods in the real world – but hey, it’s easier to just avoid that aspect of modernity altogether, if one is able. Which is a round-about way of explaining that my contact email is a little different as of today, but just put in ‘gmail’ where ‘yahoo’ used to be, and amend your contacts list. And if you get a weird email from me in future, offering a link to a diet supplements website, or god forbid, a cheap source for Viagra – I can assure you that it was not really from me.