Thoughts From My Inbox

November 19th, 2021

Castles, Chess, and Government Contractors

Today would’ve been my dad’s 103rd birthday (he was 50 when I hit the scene), so I thought I’d share a photo. He’s the one in middle of the group sitting on the wing of the downed Nazi fighter plane (if we’re friends on Facebook, you’ve already seen this.) He was a munitions demolition expert in WWII, which I don’t think I realized until after he passed away. It would explain, however, why he was usually so calm. We have lots of cool souvenirs from his military days, including fuses from German bombs that he defused- one of which, as his note states, was booby-trapped.  Fortunately, that booby trap failed or you wouldn’t be reading this! 

There’s a funny story about this photo.  When my son Jimmy spent six weeks in France with a host family one summer, he called on the day of his arrival and asked if I could send some pictures of his grandfather from the war.  Jimmy was just becoming fluent in French, so there was still a bit of a language barrier between him and his host family. When they saw this picture, their moods quickly turned sour, as they thought Mr. Abbott was a German fighter.  Panic set in, and as I recall, I quickly had to text/email a few more photos proving that he was American and not one of the bad guys!

 

Something About…

 

Stopping Cyber Threats
Our partners at Sophos are presenting their 2021 Cybersecurity Summit on December 1. The half day event will feature live discussions providing insight and strategies to help secure your network and business.  Topics will include emerging technologies, how attackers are evolving, and the use of AI to defend your networks. Click here to register.  There’s no cost and Sophos always provides great information.

 

FBI Emails
The FBI’s external email system was hacked over the weekend, and while they claim that no data breach occurred, one can only wonder.  How many times have we heard “Oh, my network is secure. And so is all of the data.”

  

 

Black Friday Phishing
As people get ready for Black Friday, hackers start preparing even more phishing emails.  30% of consumers received a Black Friday phishing email last year, and since consumers expect an uptick in email marketing, they’re not surprised to see offers of great deals. Be careful what you click on, however.

 

 

 

Exploding Whales

While ‘whaling’ is known in the cybersecurity world as a phishing attempt targeting executives, exploding whales is in a category all its own. It was brought to my attention by a regular reader that I missed last week’s (Nov. 12) “Exploding Whale Day”, recognition of an event that took place in Florence, OR in 1970.  As a journalist mentioned, ‘ The blast blasted blubber beyond all believable bounds.’  I’ll let you read on for more. 

 

Self-Driving Suitcases
For any of you looking to get me a Christmas gift this year, please note that I DO NOT need a self-driving suitcase. I don’t even use a non-self-driving suitcase (I think there might be one in the house, but it may or may not have been hijacked).  I do like the idea of driving the suitcase around the airport like a remote-controlled car, though! If you’d like to see something that nobody really needs, here it is.

 

Privacy

At the risk of shooting myself in the foot, I’m going to share this one with you. In case you didn’t know it, email marketers (yes, even me) have the ability to see who opened our emails and who clicked our links. The pros do it so that they can then send more targeted content to their readers.  I’m still pretty amateur, so I just use that functionality to see how many people opened my email, and to see what news is of interest to people.  I know that many of you click on the real estate posts, so I try to always include one, but I’m not sending you other real estate emails since you clicked on a link in this newsletter.

 

As more people become concerned with privacy, more functionality is being added to make it difficult for marketers to track readers and clickers (that’s a professional term). Apple has even added an anti-tracking feature with their newest iOS, although researchers have found out that it doesn’t work on Apple Watches.  (If you’re curious, about 17% of my distribution list usually opens this piece, but that doesn’t account for those who have anti-tracking in place. So I’d like to think that number is actually higher.)

 

Real Estate

Always wanted to own your own town?  Now you can, for only $11M.  I feel kinda bad for the owner who’s never been outside the 18 acre town.  Never.  Left.  Town.

 

 

Iranian Hackers

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has released a new alert regarding Iranian government sponsored hackers and their efforts targeting Microsoft Exchange and Fortinet firewall security gaps.  If you’d like to learn more about the cyber threat as it relates to Iran, CISA has quite a bit of information available.  

 

 

I think I’m going to take next week off, in terms of Thoughts From My Inbox.  It’s a short week, and most of you probably won’t be checking your inbox, anyhow. 

 

It will also be a nice treat for our marketing associate Cat, who won’t have to make my mess look good.  Next Wednesday is her last day at Ashton, so one less thing on her plate will hopefully be appreciated.  If you’ve followed Ashton on social, commented about how nice this publication looks, gotten an invitation to an Ashton event, or seen anything else from us in the past year that was even remotely creative, you can thank Cat for it.  I think she’ll probably suffer some PTSD, knowing that social media is back in my hands (check out our Instagram account, as “What’s Outside My Window” will definitely be returning), but will quickly forget us as she climbs the corporate ladder. If you’ve worked with her, please send her your congratulations on a job well done, and your best wishes for her next step.

 

As for me, football season starts this weekend as the Buckeyes have Michigan State as a precursor to That Team Up North next weekend.  The Browns have a Michigan visitor this weekend as well, and it’s also time to start getting ready for turkey day.

 

Hope you have a great weekend and a Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Go Bucks,

Jim