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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox January 6th, 2023

Thoughts from my inbox

January 6th, 2023

I always thought that Heat Miser and Snow Miser were ubiquitous Christmas characters. Kind of like Ralphie, Clark Griswold, and Frosty.  In my last edition before the holidays (and before I kind of forgot to publish for two weeks in a row),  I included a poll questioning which of the Miser brothers you preferred. Heat Miser finished with 60% of the vote, but voter turnout was predictably low.  One of those voters admitted to me that he had no clue who these two characters are, and when I related that story to a mutual connection, he too had no clue.   Must be a generational thing…

 

 Anyway, since this is my Happy New Year edition, I figured I should give a shoutout to Baby New Year, from the same era of animated tv.  Here’s hoping that 2023 is off to a great start for you!

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Guide Dog Dropouts

I’ve had dogs all my life, and they’ve all be retrievers of one sort or another.  When I saw this, I had to included it. And it isn’t actually about guide dog dropouts… it’s about those who washed out of guide dog school because they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) cut it

Social Media Phishing

Came a cross a good reminder article from our security partners at Sophos, regarding social media phishing scams.  The piece walks the reader through a handful of screenshots showing how hackers convince users to provide passwords and other self-identifying info (i.e. phone numbers), but as its first “what to do” bullet point, suggests that people keep a record of official ‘verify your account’ pages for all the social networks they use.  So, not only do we need to manage all of our passwords, we need to bookmark every social media platform’s “verify your account” page?   I wonder if anybody has actually ever gone so far as to do that…

InfraGard Hack

Until seeing a few articles on the topic, I’d never heard of InfraGard (run by the FBI), but they are described as “an initiative to bolster the nation’s collective ability to defend against physical and cyber threats to infrastructure targets“.  The group is supposedly comprised of “key people who run our nation’s critical infrastructure”.  While they might be key, they sure don’t seem to know how to secure things… they were recently hacked and data for 80,000 members is now available online. Nice work.  

Negative Content

Reading this article about some jewelry store in Philly (Steven Singer) that uses negative content in their ad campaigns reminded me of one of my favorite ad campaigns from a few years back.  Snowbird ski resort in Utah took the negative feedback they’d gotten from visitors (“no easy runs” or “too much powder”) and made them into a campaign targeting expert skiers who didn’t want easy runs and live for lots of powder.  Reminds me of the time that an Ashton client told me that our engineers were too quick to get things done; when said client put in a request for help, they typically weren’t urgent, and they wondered whether I could call off the dogs, so to speak.  True story. 

Twitter Hack

While data shows 368 million active Twitter users globally (and the top 25% of users account for 97% of all tweets), a new hack claims to have access to 400 million Twitter accounts and their corresponding data. If you have an active Twitter account, you should probably change your password.  If you have an inactive account, you should probably try and remember the password so that you can change it. Wouldn’t want somebody to tweet as if they were you…   

Catnip

We have a cat, along with our two dogs, and for Christmas she got some sort of catnip toy. She rolled in it on Dec. 25th, but it seems to have been ignored since then.  Anyhow, when I came across this article, I figured I’d share it so as not to put all the focus on dogs.  That said, I was surprised to see that humans have used catnip for hundreds of years, and at the same time, I was disappointed to not see any mention of the herb’s effect on dogs.  That’s even more appropriate this morning as our dog walker just texted us a pic showing that the younger of our two dogs got up on the counter, chewed up the catnip toy, and then went after the clothes hamper this morning.  Maybe catnip has the reverse effect on dogs!

Ransomware and Insurance

The Ohio Supreme Court this week ruled for an insurance carrier in regards to a claim of “physical damage” due to ransomware.  In short, the insured claimed physical damage on software due to a hack, but the Court found that since software isn’t “physical”, no damage could occur.  Take this as another reminder to review your cyber insurance policy with somebody who knows what they’re looking at (not all insurance brokers understand all there is to know about cyber liability coverage) and can ensure that you have the best coverage in place. 

Well, it took me awhile but I think I’m back into the routine of collecting and collating all of the info that comes through my inbox in any given week.  Hoping that you found this week’s batch to be interesting, funny, or worthwhile. I also hope that you have a good weekend.  The weather looks crummy for Greater Cleveland (no snow), but on a high note, the Browns season comes to an end.  That means we won’t have to put up with any more losses for the next 8+ months!

 

Abbey

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