Cyprus Mail
Guest ColumnistOpinion

May Instagram rest in peace: a real problem

comment katerina #hacked #instahacked #fuming #waxonwaxoff
#hacked #instahacked #fuming #WaxOnWaxOff

A bestie, not just anyone, a true friend, who loves music and adores cats, unintentionally passed on to me a lethal virus. Not Covid, something even more modern and without a vaccine. With a simple message on an app, a quite convincing one, since we were together the previous evening, she killed my Instagram account in cold blood.

Now, you might ask what two middle-aged ladies were doing on social media, but the truth is that like all celebrities, we also wanted to expand our influence, inform our fans, and why not post artistic photos of the sea, cloudy skies, sunsets and occasionally a good selfie. We got carried away. I didn’t hold it against her. We laughed at our mishap and our mutual reaction was ‘so what? Who needs Insta?’ May Instagram rest in peace!

But the issue was not simple at all because the hacker scoundrel started sending messages to my friends, notifying them that I had become rich through crypto, inviting them to click on a link and get lucky as well. Terrified as I was, I called my friend for backup: ‘Mayday, Mayday, we’re under fire from all sides. We have to take justice into our own hands.’

And so mission impossible began. No answer from Instagram or from any of the so called ‘help’ lines, platforms and electronic addresses that are supposed to provide support, nor did Meta respond, and Mark Zuckerberg recently became a dad again so is also missing, while the police cybercrime unit told me to ‘call on Monday.’

On that fateful Saturday, two days after the incident, in the evening with nerves on edge and after spending eight hours trying to save bank accounts and rescue the Facebook account that I had been locked out of, I started cleaning the windows. Me who always says that life is too short and Cyprus too dusty to deal with windows. I did not know where else to vent. On one hand, I was mocking the

tragic situation with my friend, and with the other… wax on, wax off, Mr Miyagi style in Karate Kid.

But what is the lesson of this terrible experience? What did we gain from this ordeal? First of all, the realisation that while our life has moved to the digital arena, safety has not. The owner of the apartment building called Instagram is on vacation, and besides, it’s not his fault if you left the door unlocked. No matter how expensive the common charges you pay are, this is the truth…

Therefore, as a former member of the group with over two billion users, I say with certainty that you should be careful because the stakes are not too small to be ignored. The hacker communicating on my behalf invaded my personal life, and I repeat, because I really liked it, the police will tell you ‘call back on Monday.’

Anyway, exhausted from the mythical labyrinth and discussing on the phone, we thought, my friend and me, to write a film scenario. It’s about two naive ladies who entered the new era and while one was polishing windows and the other was trying to decide whether to go to the theatre or not, the hacker devoured their entire personal lives, stole their identities, emptied their accounts, and in the end, disappeared them from planet earth.

BTW, the rascal continues to share stories and likes on my behalf!

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