Be A Superhero Employee: Block Workplace Cyber Security Breaches

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"A company can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on firewalls,
intrusion detection systems and encryption
and other security technologies,
 but if an attacker can call one trusted person within the company,
 and that person complies, and if the attacker gets in,
then all that money spent on technology is essentially wasted."
~ Kevin Mitnick

 

Before the birth of the Internet, security breaches involving social engineering were in full force via the telephone and fax machines.

One well-known ongoing scam has involved telephone con artists posing as company-approved vendors. They'll call various departments in organizations until they reach someone willing to cooperate by providing equipment serial numbers, allegedly for repair or supply-ordering purposes. The scammers will obtain the name of the person who provided them with the information and then send invoices to the company for phony supply or equipment repair orders with fingers crossed that no one will check and simply pay them. Another scam involves obtaining those serial numbers and employee's name again, shipping below-standard supplies "authorized" by the employee, and then sending an invoice, usually for a charge far above what the supplies are worth. These scams don't work in every case, but they work often enough to keep them going.

Christmas Movies to Watch and Celebrate

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“…Susan’s the reason I asked you to drop down.
She’s a little confused
and I thought maybe
you could help to straighten her out.

I’d be glad to.

Would you please tell her that you’re not really Santa Claus?
That there actually is no such person.

Well, I’m sorry to disagree with you, Mrs.  Walker,
but not only is there such a person, but here I am to prove it.

No, no, no, you misunderstand. I want you to tell her the truth.
Uh, what’s your name?

Kris Kringle.

I mean your real name.

That is my real name.

~ Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

 

Who doesn't enjoy, or even love, a good Christmas movie? Even those who don't celebrate Christmas very much, if at all, often appreciate a well-made movie that warms the heart, lifts the spirit and inspires goodwill. Even the frothy, cookie-cutter movies on Lifetime and Hallmark can lighten moods during the stresses and pressures of the holiday season.

How the Grinch Can Steal Christmas Creep

Christmas Shopping 1919
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“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?

It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.

And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” 

 

~ Dr. SeussHow The Grinch Stole Christmas!

 

According to the idealized vision many of us have of the Christmas holidays, 'tis the season of joy, peace and goodwill. In reality, for many years the season has trended toward a time of frantic shopping for the latest "in" toy or other specialized items and bargains. Retailers even began encroaching on the sacred family day of Thanksgiving, jumping the gun on so-called "Black Friday. Thus, I was relieved to see that this year more stores opted to close on Thanksgiving Day, allowing customers as well as store employees some traditional time with their families and friends. Not that this was an entirely altruistic move on the part of the stores; apparently the effort of opening on Thanksgiving Day simply wasn't worth the trouble. According to Gallup, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day are two of the happiest days for Americans, so why mess with that? Isn't there enough stress in people's lives without disrupting the enjoyment of these two revered days?

The Benefits of Gratitude

 

Androcles and the Lion -clker.com

"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls." Aesop

One of my favorite childhood stories is the Aesop's Fable of Androcles and the Lion, and it is still relevant today as the classic tale of gratitude. This is a tale of a simple kind act of a slave who removes a thorn from the paw of a lion, only to meet the same lion again later in one of the legendary arenas of ancient times in which, as punishment, humans were offered as meals to starving and ferocious lions. Both had been captured for these dark purposes. But when the lion saw Androcles he recognized him, and in a dramatic display of gratitude for removing the thorn from his paw he refused to attack. Instead, the lion greeted Androcles affectionately as an old friend.

Here Comes The New Year – Are You Ready?

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Let our New Year's resolution be this:
we will be there for one another
as fellow members of humanity,
in the finest sense of the word.
~ Goran Persson

 

With the beginning of each New Year, many if not most of us start ticking off those areas that we wish to improve in the coming year, sitting down to compose the time-honored -- or infamous, depending on how you look at it -- New Year's Resolutions.

Holiday Season 2015 – “Politically Correct” = Decency and Respect

Some people find it impossible to accept
That all people are deserving of respect
Fairness and decorum they will reject
And scorn it as politically correct.

Two Decembers ago Fox News' Megyn Kelly declared on her show that, "...by the way for all you kids watching at home Santa just is white…” That statement caused quite a stir, but as the persona of Santa/Saint Nicholas/Father Christmas/Kris Kringle has progressed through several centuries and many countries, it's quite possible that this jolly man might have at some time been darker complexioned than the current version. There is even some historical indication that women might have taken turns during the progression of the Santa concept (although some children in the U.K. who were recently asked if Santa could be a woman had some interesting answers that proved we still have a way to go on the gender bias thing - hmmm).

Holiday Season 2015 – Making Things Better, Not Worse

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 “…you can prove that you’re a Christian.
You can’t prove it, then, you know, you err on the side of caution.”

“…calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States…”

“…I don’t think orphans under five…should be admitted into the United States at this point.”

The news is not good these days for those of us who teach etiquette to students and professionals. You can't pick up a newspaper, watch the news on TV or go online without reading or hearing the maelstrom of incivility aimed at certain ethnic and religious groups.