I love the feeling I get when I read these inspiring words from an awesome creative site. I feel I can do everything. Better yet you are not crazy because you want to. Just a reminder to ask yourself what are you waiting for?
Recently I have been in the middle of fixing my account with PayPal and all connections to my PayPal account because the PayPal account was hacked. The culprit found access through Facebook. Once established this person proceeded to charge all my accounts with felonious fraudulent charges of 152.04EU. I just happened to be checking my emails when this all started and contacted PayPal immediately. As I explained to the customer service representative we watched as it unfolded. There were thousands of dollars being charged. My stomach sank. It is a horrible feeling to have someone invade your space even if it is in internet space. I have to applaud the CSR dept. at PayPal for they worked diligently and we stopped and then blocked access to my accounts. Credit cards passwords and security codes and features have all been reinforced and I am back running with as much safety as anyone can during these days of ever-changing rules and platforms.
I want to first say that if you are running an Etsy Shop you have a PayPal account or if you buy at etsy.com please know all your information is very secure. Etsy works with PayPal on a behind the scenes secure connection that is not easily if possible to breach. All your transactions from PayPal to Etsy and Etsy to PayPal are very secure. I have extensively asked both PayPal and Etsy this question both reaffirming there is no security issue.
The problem is we need social networks to help market our work. So which social media networks should you use? Look at which ones are working for you and pick the top five and stick with those. I suspect Facebook will not be in the top 5. It was not for me. Web site posts, Blogs,Twitter, Pinterest, LinkIn and SEM or SEO‘s have helped me be seen over all else. Through all this upheaval I did find Facebook is now an advertiser market place and is far from social. Facebook has not yet contacted me in the matter of being breached which allowed the window for someone to hack my PayPal account.
The solution is simple. If you are using PayPal go and log in to your account. Click the Profile button and on the left side you will see My Money. Click it and then click Approved Accounts. You will see all the different accounts linked to your account. Remove all that are not needed.
Now go to Facebook and if you have a cell mobile phone with text (SMS) messaging set it up to be notified if someone is trying to get access to your Facebook account from an unknown devise. You receive a text with a security code to input. Unless you don’t have a phone this is fabulous to catch hackers.
All very simple steps to do and even us very simple brained old timers can do.
On February 8 I received an email about payment sent to Facebook,Inc. Ltd. Ireland. I was checking on something else in my email account. Thought that it was unusual and maybe it was an order going to the UK? it was showing in EU. I really wasn’t paying attention and signed into my PayPal account. They kept coming and I immediately called PayPal. By the time we could actually contain the payments my account had accrued over 20 charges of 152.02 in EU. It was wild watching this happen and my gut did somersaults but we calmly contained the situation. My credit card and any banking accounts were now vulnerable. Several calls later fixed and now the fraud departments will take it over. Thank you dear people who I have had helping me. You are all angels.
But I digress, I want everyone out there who uses the internet to make transactions to know there is a way to further protect yourself. First off for us who do not understand how this marvel of Facebook Twitter and all the others work there is help. Be sure you check out who can get access to your PayPal account. Log in to your account and click the profile. Then on the left hand side you will see My Business Info…My Money and so on…Click on the My Money and the page will open to all the different identities who have access to your PayPal. If you are not selling in these avenues it is a very good idea to click on the ones you want to block access. It is that easy and now you are all set.
Just a note to my fellow Etsy Shop owners, your shop and PayPal are set up as different entities with safeguards established between Etsy and PayPal. Rest assured you are strongly protected.
Now sign in to your Facebook account and set up your security options by allowing Facebook to notify you via your cell phone if someone is trying to sign in to your Facebook account. They send you a text message with a code and unless someone has stolen your phone they will not be able to get access to your account. Email accounts are vulnerable and lets face it today we post our email addresses everywhere.
I am very fortunate since this could have been worse on so many levels. We all know the benefits of social networking and selling on-line. We also need knowledge and vigilance. Maybe my adventurous experience can help someone arm themselves and prevent an attack on their account. This is information I gathered from the knowledgeable customer service people at PayPal and now to all of you.
If you are an artist you most definitely deal with web sites, social media, online shops and blogs. Over a course of months and years you find more avenues to join and add to your online presence. Everything seems wonderful and what could go wrong? You become complacent with your shop and social media sites not staying up to date with the ever-changing rules. When to hashtag and when to share and how to Facebook and how to use third-party sources. Suddenly things go off course and you find yourself trying to fix things. What do you do?
You stay calm find the answers and change them quickly. I try to stay informed on what I am doing on-line and how it can benefit my business but sometimes we simply fail. I have dealt with viruses and hacking for several months. I have a person who has completely altered my system. Firewalls and security gadgets which are a bother but the alternative is far worse. During this time of ups and downs I had found I couldn’t work online promoting as I wanted to so I allowed a young person to help. It was holiday season and I did not want to be out in the proverbial cold. Things went along smoothly. So I thought. With my system back up I no longer needed his services and took over. I discovered massive tweets being sent with a third-party account. Wow how ingenious. Not so fast.
To send tweets in this way can really get you booted right off the site. How horrible. I looked at the Facebook Page and noticed all those tweets were also there. Every bell in my head started to ring. As I deleted the entries they kept coming up marked as spam. My heart sank. A short time ago I knew in my gut there was something wrong online but could not pin point it. There was and hopefully I have corrected it and I apologize to all who had to endure those posts.
But I have gotten of course. There are no short cuts in business no easy way to get great results. Hard work and long hours and knowing who to ask and when. As artists we have a tendency to do it on our own or if we can’t just ignore it and it will improve. You have no choice but to stay present in your business if you want to succeed and no one else has your back like you do. When my gut said things looked off I should have asked more questions about how he was implementing the tweets or done some investigating on my own. I failed myself and my followers and my company because I did not heed my own words. To succeed you need to know when to do the hard work.
I have learned a much needed business lesson. Always know what is being projecting online, when to take charge of the wheel and how things are implemented in your company. An artist has their heart, soul, work and name to guard and most can not afford to relaunch our name and work. It is a must you are always aware of the what, when and hows.