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No Holiday for Hackers

December 6, 2017

Hacking the Holidays

Tis the season…for email phishing and other scams. Unfortunately, cybercrooks are well aware of the increase in online activity that comes with this time of year, and with tools such as keystroke loggers and spoofed links in widespread use, it’s no surprise that a recent survey says at least 15 percent of people polled have had an active social media account compromised.

With this in mind, Google has a recent post on its official blog designed to help keep you from making some criminal’s Christmas. It spotlights the true pervasiveness of the issue, with over 25 million users victimized by email phishing and keystroke logging attacks. Here’s a tip: the IRS will likely send you a heavy letter if an issue demands your attention, and Gmail definitely will not ask for your password in a customer service message.

In all seriousness, cybercrime continues to be a constant struggle as the bad guys try to stay one step ahead, and a little vigilance goes a long way to helping keep your information secure.

Weekend Update

If you have friends with iPhones, you may have noticed they were having some technical difficulties over the weekend. Apparently a bug in one of the latest iOS builds causes some types of notification to temporarily send the processor into overdrive, heating it up until it overtaxes the system and forces a reset. So many Instaperfect moments lost to cruel fate.

The good news is that a solution is being rolled out in the form of the iOS 11.2 update, and this Lifehacker article goes into more detail about how to make it happen for you.

Sweet and Sour

We all have days where we could use a little extra juice, and when I need a reminder of how great life can be when you try really hard, I like this little Chrome extension called Momentum.

With Momentum, new tab pages are replaced with a display featuring a picturesque scene from some far flung destination along with a motivational quote and information like the time, date, and local weather. It’s an ideal blend of optimism and practicality.

…wait, what’s that you say? You don’t really go for all that incense and peppermints jazz? Well, fear not, you disappointed idealist…I have something for you as well.

Demotivators is a resource showcasing images best appreciated by those of us that realize there are more flakes and nuts than honey clusters in the cereal of life…it might not leave you pumped up to climb a mountain or run through a wall, but it is pretty hilarious.

Holiday Theatre

The holidays are the best time to watch and rewatch favorite movies, and instead of a traditional Christmas movie like “Die Hard,” I think I’m going to find myself taking another ride with this fun little movie called “The Big Sick.”

It’s based on a true story, and it follows a struggling Pakistani stand-up comic, an American grad student and their culture-crossing love. Without giving too much away, what I found so compelling about the movie is that the characters actually feel like people, and they manage to cover some pretty tricky topics like prejudice and the nature of family in a touching and mostly lighthearted way.

If you have the time to check it out, I definitely suggest it…it may not be directly a holiday film, but the types of connections explored and built in the film are the foundation on which these traditions are built, and I think it captures the spirit of the season more than most. It’s also free to watch for Amazon Prime users, which I assume is pretty much all of you by now, right?

The Last Word

Well, that should about do it for this week. As always, I want to express my sincere appreciation for everyone that has continued to make “Brad’s Blog” Archway’s highest rated customer newsletter. Expect me back in your inbox in six days’ time, and mine is open in case you want to drop me a line before then. Have a great week!

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