On a Tuesday night in May, Sean Coonce was reading the news in bed when his phone dropped service. He chalked it up to tech being tech and went to sleep. When he woke up, his Gmail account had been stolen and by Wednesday evening he was out $100,000.
“This is still very raw (I haven’t even told my family yet),” Coonce wrote in an anguished Medium post. “I can’t stop thinking about the small, easy things I could have done to protect myself along the way.”
On a Monday night in June, Matthew Miller’s daughter woke him up to say that his Twitter account had been hacked. He had no cell phone service; within a few days Miller lost his Gmail and Twitter account and $25,000 from his family bank account.
In Miller’s case, the attacker deactivated all his Google services, deleted all his tweets, and blocked most of his 10K followers. Once he got his phone number back from the hacker, T-Mobile let the hacker steal it a second time. “I’ve been considering changing my bank account number, social security number, and other accounts that are critical to living and working in the US,” Miller wrote in a post. “I am also freaked out about using cloud services so my strategy at the moment is … writing my passwords down on paper and leaving everything else off the cloud.”