Suspicious activity

This week began with an unexpected invitation from a specific iPhone to connect to my email account. That’s strange, I thought, and instantly dismissed it. But the question lingered with me all day: who would want to access my email account and why?

I am not the wealthiest person alive, and my resources are not worth gaining, as far as I am aware. Eventually, I’ve changed my password and went about my day. 

Today, I was once again blown away by something. A WordPress user claiming to be a renamed physician informed me he wanted to make an investment proposal in Romania. He appeared to be a serious man, and I took his words for granted. 

I was preparing to talk with one of my supervisors from the consulting firm where I work because he seemed credible and we might be able to help.

The next thing I know, I receive an investment offer email. See below:

I was surprised to see that an actual respectable individual with important milestones online engages in such actions. And, really, who sends money to these people in the first place? I guess I didn’t expect to see one online, let alone on WordPress.

No, I didn’t reply to the email as James Veitch would have suggested, could have written a comment in WordPress, lol.

Another strange activity I witnessed at my former position was ex-customers passing around ZIP documents protected with a password, ostensibly locked to protect the information contained within. We had to open customer emails on a regular basis, which did not appear to be fraud at first.

According to ZD.Net, unlocking the document will enable macros and execute the commands for the next stages of the attack, which ultimately uses PowerShell to install a remote access tool onto the system, as well as mechanisms to ensure persistence.

This could simply be information theft, or it could be part of a larger plan in which attackers monitor the inbound and outbound emails from a compromised user to determine who they communicate with, then potentially use another phishing attack to compromise additional users from the initial account.

That email was opened by several people, including myself. Within seconds of opening the email and inputting the password, the browsers were functioning strangely, everything was in slow motion, and there was nothing I could do about it. I ultimately reinstalled the Windows pack and got everything protected by a new antivirus.

Dealing with suspicious emails and phone scams

With the Pandemic, hackers are omnipresent, and everything appears to be an opportunity to them. Offers to connect to your mobile device, send money to a random bank, and even payment information that is password-protected. These fraudsters, believe it or not, lurk in plain sight and utilize real-world issues to draw you into their scam.

Protect your email with a strong password that includes lower case, higher case, special symbols, and numbers and is at least 12 characters long. Don’t place your confidence in random people online who appear to be legitimate. If you open questionable emails, run a full scan. At the end of the day, no one is ready for these assaults, and it’s best to be prepared at all times.

Dealing with negative emotions

I have been experiencing a strange feeling lately, like if something wrong is about to happen. I am going about my daily routine, minding my own business, when I suddenly feel an ache in my chest, get depressed, and feel the desire to cry. 

I have ignored that feeling for a few days but it is just that with every day that goes away I become more unhappy and anxious, not knowing what terrible event is going to happen.

I thought that this is getting out of hand, and I need to talk to someone about it. Just as I was ready to tell my friend about it, she informed me that she was feeling the same way, and that she, too, gets depressed for no obvious reason.

Then I considered informing my mother, and the strange thing is that she was just as unhappy as I was. She seemed depressed as well, but when I inquired as to why, she replied that she believes something awful is about to happen as well. Now, I’m not sure why this sensation is shared by these women in my life, or if we’re all simply too anxious for this life, but I trust my intuition, and I feel like I have no power over what will happen.

Ways to cope and stop the chronic worrying

Identify your main worry – and then, write it down so you can see it. Most of the time, we just disregard our ‘minor’ concerns and go about our daily lives without giving them much thought. If it hurts you and takes up a lot of space in your thoughts, you should take care of it. Take a scratch, for example. Since you know it’s painful, you disinfect it and apply a bandage to avoid infection. If not treated immediately, life scratches can lead to severe infections too.

Wipe them away – If you’ve already been through the first phase and identified the bad feeling, and arrived at the conclusion that it’s nothing serious, just wipe them away. Think of these thoughts like clouds in the sky: just passing your mind like clouds pass across the sky, obscuring the sun.

Face reality and be brave – Hiding behind worries and allowing anxiety to invade your life is not the solution. If there is something you can do about it, do it. Perhaps it’s time to move closer to the things that make you uncomfortable and find out that they’re not as disagreeable as you imagined.

Relax – Instead of allowing your unreal anxieties to dictate your life, do something you love doing. Read a book, go for a walk in the park, draw, talk to a friend, or pray/ meditate.

Exercise – It has been proven that aerobic activity reduces stress hormones, provides you strength, and enables you to cope better with negative emotions.

Most importantly, if you’re like me and have others around you who are experiencing the same negative emotions and feelings as you, understand your feelings and then help them as well. This may appear to be an extra task, but once you’ve dealt with your difficulties, focusing on someone else’s may offer you a feeling of purpose and can chase the blues away.

And if the inevitable happens, as Charles Jones once said, things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.

(Image Source – Unsplash, Toni Reed)

Disappointment and rejection

Dreams come and go, and they are incredible to start with. We become so enthusiastic about a new challenge that we are prepared to go above and beyond for things to work out in our favor. We’d get up early to discover things about the new dream, read more, and do our best not to disappoint.

But what happens when the new dream comes crashing down, when the path ahead is rocky, and we can’t seem to find the answers to our questions? It appears that our Universe has failed to fulfill its purpose, and we must embark on another journey although the track is unclear, foggy, and the baggage is heavy.

It’s foolish if we think about it. We get all the signals that something may go wrong, and we’re feeling that inner guilt rotting inside, sensing that it’s not going to happen, and yet we hope, yet we allow our dreams to spread their wings and fly.

Just like when our mama told us not to do something because we’ll get hurt, but we still did it because we wanted to and were too stubborn to listen. Did we shed any tears? You bet! Was it painful? Of course, it did, and we made sure that everyone around us was aware of it.

We eventually wiped away our salty tears, pulled up our sleeves to conceal the bleeding bruise, and went on to our next disappointment. Not all of the obstacles were painful or discouraging. Some of them helped us to climb higher and learn new things.

We’ve learned a lot along the road, and many times when we felt we were being turned down for something ‘good’, we were led to something greater. I suppose that every new opportunity brings with it a new set of aspirations and accomplishments, and no matter how many warnings we get, we’re never prepared for that kick. And we can’t expect to be shielded from everything in life; disappointment is a necessary part of growing up.

If we’ve been rejected and feel disappointed, it doesn’t mean the journey is over, it means that something greater is on the way.

Be patient, believe in yourself, and never give up hope; happiness and success are just around the corner.

Overthinking

What is the definition of life? What makes it truly significant and worthwhile? Is it the new job, the new laptop with the colorful keypad, or the dreadful sensation of the unknown that creeps in every night?

I recently struggled to make sense of these meanings and came up empty-handed. I’ve been going in circles for a long time, mostly because I’ve lost sight of my purpose, of the things I used to like doing, such as writing.

I’ve been terrible at delaying and doing everything but the one thing that makes me happy. It was fun to create ‘to-do lists,’ ‘what should I purchase next month lists,’ plan new activities, exercise, and schedule doctor visits to see what was wrong with me. 

I have to admit that ticking items off a list may be satisfying and inspirational, even if it doesn’t provide the same level of enjoyment as doing something you like. The best aspect is that most of the activities were beneficial to me, and my problems were resolved.

The previous several months have been life-changing, and I have changed as well. The routine has changed, and I’m attempting to improve each day by reading more and participating in new things that I never dreamed I’d be doing. I’ve gotten rid of the majority of my negative habits and replaced them with new ones.

I’ve got new hopes and aspirations, but I’ve also got new anxieties and obsessive thoughts. Before going to sleep, I can’t seem to stop my mind from racing, and I tend to overthink things more than usual.

I used to be frightened of new experiences and envisioned things that did not occur; it was all in my brain the whole time. That caused me to miss out on essential sleep hours and struggle with day-to-day tasks. When I first awakened, I found myself laughing and feeling sorry for myself. Nobody should do that to themselves, and it’s a good thing I discovered it.

Lose some strings along the way

It’s normal to be scared of the unknown and to wonder what will happen next after a significant transition, but what if, instead of worrying and pondering what may go wrong, we focused on what could go right?

Overthinking destroys the new’s delight and wonder. Life will never be perfect, and for that matter, we will never fully know what will happen. Instead of overthinking and attempting to control everything that may occur, take one step at a time rather than picturing the entire staircase.

Imagine where we’d be if we spent every day overthinking and attempting to plan and control everything that happened to us. Honestly, I don’t believe we could’ve ever envisioned ourselves in the places we are now, with the people we have in our life; I definitely couldn’t have imagined myself in this situation.

Woody Allen once said, ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.’ Instead of creating plans that may never come true, realize that God already has a bigger plan for you, one that you could never have imagined, something out of the ordinary. Let go of the ties that bind you, relax, and remember to breathe and appreciate the delights of each new day.

Image Source – Unsplash,
Rodion Kutsaev