So…that was embarrassing! But I found the silver lining…

Yesterday I received an email alerting me that there was some “unwanted text” showing on my web site. The email included a screen shot, showing what the visitor to my site had seen. Much to my horror, a lewd phrase was showing near the top of every page of my web site. To make matters worse, I later discovered that the line of lewd text was also an active link to a pornographic web site. How did this happen? Apparently a security issue with a “widget” within the template that I had used to create my site had allowed some person to attach the link to sites that use that particular template. I was horrified, embarrassed, and angry that someone would do that. (Talk about someone who needs counselling, eh?) I managed to fix the problem by changing to a different template. So now has a new look — hope you like it. As someone who always tries to make the best of a bad situation, I had to ask myself, “What is the silver lining of this cloudy experience?” I was able to come up with a few things. First of all, I made a new friend. It turns out that the woman who alerted me to the problem is someone who is very much a part of my “community” and we discovered that we had 20 mutual friends and acquaintances on Facebook. I was deeply grateful that she had taken a minute out of her busy day to send me the email letting me know about the problem. It was a nice affirmation that sometimes, when we’re not watching out for ourselves, someone else is watching out for us. And that brings me to my next point…that I wasn’t watching out for myself. Granted, I never imagined that someone would be able to sabotage a web site that I have maintained completely on my own for five years. But I admit that I was not being diligent about checking my own site regularly. I am not particularly tech savvy, and I find it frustrating to continually deal with “updates” and changes regarding computers. My least favourite part of my job is maintaining a web site, so I had been avoiding it. This security breach was a big wake-up call, and a reminder that avoiding the things we don’t like dealing with is not the answer. Avoidance often just leads to bigger problems — and that was clearly the case here. I would like to make a public apology to anyone who visited my site during the last several weeks when the unsavoury text was visible there. I would like to say a public “thank you” to Alesha, the woman who alerted me. And I would like to remind everyone that avoiding the things we don’t like to deal with is not a good way to go, for any of us. What is going on in your life right now that needs to be dealt with head-on, instead of avoiding it?


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