Evernote was hacked! Now, this worries me.  Being a writer, I’m worried by any threat to my note-taking/keeping system.

Mind you, I’m not talking about any old note taking system and I’m especially not talking about the old-fashioned spiral-bound system that many of us used to use, although I remember I did once write an entire book by hand, in notebooks and while on a bus…


I also remember when trusting a note taking system wasn’t even an issue.  A notebook was a notebook was a notebook.


Trust didn’t come into it. It didn’t store anything except handwritten notes. It didn’t connect to anything unless you attached it to a piece of string and tied it to your desk to stop people ‘borrowing’ it.

Those old notebooks certainly didn’t contain such huge amounts of crucial and valuable information that whole armies of specialist criminals would devote their time to finding newer, cleverer and more devious ways to access its contents.


Of course back then very few people were interested in the contents of notebooks and definitely not mine as all they tended to contain was… well… notes of course.

All those notes were handwritten in handwriting that has been described as looking like a pen puked on a page but I now realize could have been easily the best encryption device I ever accidentally invented.

Now, encryption is a lot more complicated and less easily invented. We also have a whole plethora of document storage and exchange systems and not surprisingly none of them use paper. Yet – Evernote was hacked!

Evernote was hacked. Image of a tree

I must admit I’ve always had a slight distrust of technology. Only slight. Not enough to deter me from using as much of it as I can possibly can. Yet, I do have enough distrust to stop me transforming and streamlining my messy office by going completely paperless.

I do find the calm, clean, tidiness of the paperless idea really appealing, not to mention the fact that going paperless might just stop my inner ‘tree-hugging-hippy’ from poking me with the guilt-stick but still – Evernote was hacked!


It’s not just the guilt or hacking thing though – it’s also the ‘stuff.’ After four house moves in four years I have come to hate ‘stuff,’ which in my case means heaps and heaps of paper and files, most of which, in all honesty I hardly ever look at, never mind lift from the shelves and blow the dust off. Yet, for a long time I needed to know those dusty old files were around.

Recently, things started to change. The last and most recent move proved to be the last straw. I was getting tired. Far too much stuff, not to mention copies of stuff, sometimes duplicated and sometimes even triplicate.

Stuff tires you out and I was all stuffed up. I wasn’t ready to go fully paperless but I decided I would whittle down my heaps and make them as a small as possible.

It was like most jobs you’ve put off, difficult to start but easy and strangely satisfying to do. When I finished I felt great. I wanted to whittle down more piles and get rid of more stuff – everything I got rid off made me feel lighter. It was like I had made more room for creativity. I was so inspired that I began to get more serious about the idea of going paperless… much more serious.

Creative writing. Evernote IMAGE OF A BLUE EYED OWL

So, for the last few months I have been working with Evernote and I have slowly built up a small collection of notebooks, each one containing quite an impressive amount of information. I found the system really efficient and was about to start using it even more – once I finished a drastic revamp of my filing storage and systems when bang…


Evernote was hacked! Actually, there was no bang – the email landed in my inbox so quietly and with so little fanfare that I could have mistaken it for something a hell of a lot less worrying than what it actually was – a notification that Evernote had discovered…

‘…suspicious activity on the Evernote network that appears to have been a coordinated attempt to access secure areas of the Evernote Service.

As a precaution to protect your data, we have decided to implement a password reset. Please read below for details and instructions.

In our security investigation, we have found no evidence that any of the content you store in Evernote was accessed, changed or lost. We also have no evidence that any payment information for Evernote Premium or Evernote Business customers was accessed.

The investigation has shown, however, that the individual(s) responsible were able to gain access to Evernote user information, which includes usernames, email addresses associated with Evernote accounts, and encrypted passwords.

Even though this information was accessed, the passwords stored by Evernote are protected by one-way encryption. (In technical terms, they are hashed and salted.)

While our password encryption measures are robust, we are taking steps to ensure your personal data remains secure. This means that in an abundance of caution, we are requiring all users to reset their Evernote account passwords.


Does this sound scary to you?  Yes, me too and for the same reasons as you. I am still using Evernote. I must admit it’s because it saves me so much time but I am being more careful about backing up files and I am not storing anything crucial or secret there and I am still using some old-fashioned creative writing tools as well.

I suppose I still feel reasonably safe but at the end of the day, Evernote was hacked and if someone hacks into any kind of online storage system they can steal anything they want in seconds. Whereas at least with my files and paper, they would have to do lot of heavy scanning and reading – not to mention heavy lifting before they found anything and even then, all they would find would be some old unpublished stories and who would steal them?

Keep writing. All the best – Grace  

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