So I logged onto my email account this morning to find tons of messages from Twitter followers complaining about receiving spam. Apparently my account had been sending out sex-related direct messages. To say I was mortified would be an understatement; I’m blushing now just writing about it.

First reaction: fury. I’d spent months learning the ins and outs and connecting with people in the literary industry, and now my user name was associated with spam. Second reaction: shame. I know exactly how my account got compromised. It was from me being stupid and clicking a link I should’ve known wasn’t ligit. Third reaction: avoidance. I changed my password right away of course, and went through all other recommended steps on the Twitter website, but I didn’t want to open TweetDeck or the Twitter page or anything associated with it.

Needless to say, I’ve learned some things today. If a direct message looks suspicious, or if you’re asked to log into Twitter after following a link, think again. And the very second a suspicious direct message leaves your account, change your password. I’ve also learned that there are some awesome people on Twitter. When I got up the nerve to read the response messages, all but one were super supportive and said things like “I knew this didn’t come from you” and “This would’ve been way out of character for you.” To know that I’ve met and interacted with people enough that they were certain I wouldn’t send those links was such a relief.

So thank you to everyone for your patience while the problem gets fixed and for knowing I don’t forward things like that. I’ll probably be cooling it on Twitter for awhile, but I’ve learned some valuable lessons and hope someone else learned from this post. So be careful with your accounts but enjoy all the wonderful connections that are possible!