Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Unexpected Blessings

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I had all but given up hope that I'd be able to restore anything as a result of our computer hacking.  Trying to come to grips that I had exhausted all avenues I knew to pursue.  Did all the things everyone said to try, the FCC, the FBI, filing an IC3 report, contacting local law enforcement, the DA's office, and having the case turned over to a local detective.   All seemed futile.  With all agencies really reiterating the same thing... this happens on a regular basis.  I am just one of thousands that this happens to daily, and there is little to no recourse when it does occur as tracking down hacking criminals is what I gather almost next to impossible. 

And just when I had said you're going to have to decide what to do - to move forward, or to quietly retreat in the midst of what had happened and call it quits... a special needs parent in the community, as if sent down in the form of a miracle, had a connection that restored some of what was taken.  Our Facebook profile was returned, Noah's page and the Special Needs pages and groups all there.  The only catch being that the hackers changed the URL address, causing me to be stuck with their new label.   A problem for those who will search out my assistance not knowing that URL is now different.  Facebook has a policy you can only change a URL once - and the hackers decided to take that one time opportunity.   I'm trying to view the loss of of the URL address as a minor casualty considering that those 80,000 families are now safe and back in the hands of someone who cares and wants to assist them all. 

I'll have to be more cautious in the future, and do things differently.  I've learned that most fundraising sites that are tied directly into simply having a Facebook login could be dangerous if money is not transferred out on a regular basis. It should never stay there to accumulate to your goal. 

I always try to look for the silver lining in the midst of life's big challenges, and during this hacking have connected with so many other special needs families that have had this happen.  Some suffering the same fate that I did, while others have had their children's likeness stolen and new Facebook pages created intended for hurt speech, poking fun at children with special needs, and even creating fake donation sites for children that are not theirs.   Some parents have been fortunate enough to have their pages restored, while others have lost all hope of ever grabbing Facebook's attention to rectify the matter, some even having to turn to news media outlets to have pages shut down and restored.   I have also had the pleasure of connecting with other administrators and directors of other special needs organizations who have graciously even offered me the opportunity to assist them and join forces in our mutual endeavors to assist the special needs community.  People I likely wouldn't have met otherwise.

I still wish it had never happened, and as unrealistic as it likely is, I still hope for justice for those who have suffered the same type of internet crime.  I'm just glad to be back in some capacity to help the special needs community that means so much to me. 


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.