In 2017, the Grinch isn’t stealing Christmas by sneaking down chimneys, he’s modernized with the times and is hacking the holidays before the gifts arrive.

During this holiday season, keep your employees and your business safe by watching out for these common threats:


  1. Using information in Out of Office emails to pose as credible emails to management. The information your employees provide in out of office emails (length of vacation, name and contact information of management and alternate coworker) may be used by attackers to personally tailor their next attack. Advice: don’t include hierarchy information or specific dates.
  2. Fake Invoices. As both personal and business spending increase over the holidays, a fake invoice may not raise as much alarm as it would other times of year.
  3. Fake Shipping Updates. If your employee just placed a holiday gift order online and then receives a vague message about her order being delayed, she is more inclined to open it – and any malware lurking in that email.
  4. Phishing websites. These are the websites that copy the look of legitimate stores, but may have a misspelled name in the URL. Check those website addresses again before making purchases.
  5. Holiday e-cards and Sales Emails.  Hackers may spoof an email from someone you trust, offering holiday wishes or savings if you click on a link in the email. Be sure to check the senders’ email addresses match and think twice about opening email links. Better yet, don’t click on links in emails at all. Type the address/URL in your browser of the website to be sure you go to the site you intend to..
  6. Online Shopping Fraud.  Last year, Forbes predicted that online fraud would increase 43% over the holiday season, with most attempts happening on Christmas Eve. As a buyer, it’s important to make sure you’re purchasing from reputable companies, and as a business it’s important to know that short fulfilment times leave less time to scrutinize whether an order is legitimate.

With a bit of planning and friendly training reminders for your employees, your holiday season can be as bright as ever. If you need help protecting your business’s computers and network, arielMIS provides cybersecurity services to meet the needs of small businesses and nonprofits. Give us a call and we’ll work with you on a security plan tailored for your business!

Wishing you Happy Holidays from all of us at arielMIS!

arielMIS is a Managed Service Provider (MSP) providing businessCARE™ IT services designed to keep you and your employees productive and safe. Contact Us if you're interested in learning more about our services.