Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that people use to collect ideas for their different projects and interests. People create and share collections (called “boards”) of visual bookmarks (called “Pins”) that they use to do things like plan trips and projects, organize events or save articles and recipes... Pinterest allows users to save images and categorize them on different boards. They can follow other users' boards if they have similar tastes. The most popular categories, as of March 2012, were home, arts and crafts, style/fashion, and food
I love having a place where I can place and categorize all those interesting links I find online and where I know I can go back to find them. It's also such a nice place to "hang out" and peruse what other people are "pinning" and perhaps share those pins also. Pinterest is one of my happy places.
Recently I received a message from Pinterest that gave me cause for concern. It warned me that suspicious activity appeared to be taking place on my account. It went on to say that as a safety precaution, the account was locked and I would have to re-establish a new password and a link was provided for my convenience. Inasmuch as I am suspicious of unsolicited links, I went directly to the Pinterest site to log in but was unable to. To make a long story short, it turns out that the email from Pinterest was legitimate and I did have to change my password. A few days to a week later I again received the "suspicious activity" email and was requested to change my password. An email to Pinterest after the first episode asking what type of activity occurred was never answered so I never really knew what they considered suspicious activity. That is, not until today.
While checking my boards, I noticed one that I had not created, one that had a link to some unknown site. Then when I was updating my profile, I noticed that some of my profile information had been changed, also linking to this unknown site. In all cases, I deleted it and replaced it with the correct information. Now I know what Pinterest referred to as "suspicious activity". Some miscreant had hacked my account and was using it to try and redirect people to another website.
Moral of the story: If you're a Person of Pinterest and receive an email claiming suspicious activity similar to the one I received, do the following:
- go directly to the Pinterest site (don't click on any links in emails),
- change your password,
- check your boards for any that you did not create. (I found mine at the very end of my board list.)
- check your profile settings and check that all information is correct, particularly where it asks for your website address (if you have one). Copy then delete any incorrect information and replace it or leave it blank.
- Optional: send a message to Pinterest and provide the suspicious web address (that you copied before deleting). This step never occurred to me before deleting so I was unable to follow through with this one.
- Pin this post to one of your Pinterest Boards and let your People of Pinterest know about this. Wish someone would have done this for me.
Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva