Tech Corner December 2022 | Stay Aware of Cybersecurity Risks

Tech Corner: December 2022

Topic:  Stay Aware of Cybersecurity risk during the holidays


As we approach the holidays, the risk for cybersecurity incidents continues to rise.  Cyber criminals are aware that the focus during holiday season is on festivities, purchases, and families, and less on being aware of cyber-attacks.


Researchers have reported that over 57% of the holiday cyber-attacks are targeting retail websites.  So, as you are visiting these retail websites, there are “cookies” and “trackers” being generated to pull data from your system and identify email addresses, contact information, etc.  The hackers need more, and will find inventive ways to gather the missing links of data.


Be vigilant in the sites you visit and purchase from over the holiday, and remember some of these tips below to identify phishing and spoofing attempts, which is a major cyber security risk for homeowners during these holiday months in order to gain access to your online accounts.


  • Legit companies don’t request sensitive information through email
    • No respectable organization is going to email and ask you for your personal information and in the same respect, be careful and savvier than to give anyone that information. Just as you would not give a stranger caller on the phone your personal data, don’t give it to someone in a strange email.
  • Legit companies usually address you properly by name
    • Many phishing emails don’t actually have your details and that’s why they are searching for more data. Be on the lookout for awkward salutations and non-customary introductions.  Often these emails are prepared and sent from overseas and don’t use traditional or common grammar.
  • Legit companies use real email domain addresses
    • Always take care of highlighting or moving your mouse cursor over the sender’s email address. Often types they label themselves as the company sending the email, but their actual email address is bogus.  Keep an eye on this, it’s an easy way to spot a fake.
  • Professional organizations typically know how to spell and use proper grammar
    • As mentioned above, many of these phishing emails are prepared overseas where English is not their first language. Many spelling errors, grammar errors, sentences that don’t make sense, phrases that might be more ‘slang’ than proper email etiquette.  Sometimes just reading a few words of the email can help you spot a scam.
  • Legit companies don’t try and force you to a link or website
    • Most professional companies explain in the email what the issue is or advise you to go to their site for further information. They don’t send you (or shouldn’t) a vague email requiring you to ‘click here’ or ‘sign in’ to read the rest.
    • Move your mouse cursor over a link (hovering) to have your system show you the indended destination of that link. Be cautious of EVERY email link you receive these days and understand where that link is sending you.

Wishing you a safe, healthy, and prosperous holidays with your families and loved ones!