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December Cybersecurity Awareness Tip: Holiday FUDGE isn't just to satisfy your sweet tooth

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Plate of seasonal fiudge


Did you know fudge can satisfy your sweet tooth in more ways than one

Our cybersecurity FUDGE model can help you stay safe online during the holiday season!

Cybercriminals are notorious for stealing holiday cheer with their aggressive tactics. They craft messages meant to get you to share your personal information. Nothing is off limits. These messages come in the form of emails, texts, and phone calls.

Our Cybersecurity Awareness FUDGE model can sweeten the holidays and help you identify these dangerous red flags:

Fear – A message designed to scare you into giving information or taking action. A call that claims to be from the IRS saying you’re in trouble, for example.

Urgency – A message saying you must take action immediately, “or else”. For example, a message that threatens to turn off access to your data and files.

Desire to please – A message that appears to come from someone you want to please, like a boss or department chair. You may have seen gift card scams that originate from someone at Yale in a position of authority. Don’t be fooled, they aren’t real.

Greed - A message that says you are the winner of something you want. $50 million, anyone? Nope, that’s too good to be true – don’t believe them!

Emotion – A message that plays on your emotions such as a relative who is “stranded” and needs money ASAP. Sounds sketchy, right?

In all cases, trust your gut and don’t respond if something feels off - don’t click a link or open an attachment.

What should you do instead?

Always report suspicious activity to the Information Security Office. No need to be embarrassed or feel uncomfortable, we’re here to help to determine if emails are malicious.

And be just as wary when it comes to emails you receive at home as at Yale. Cybercriminals will try and trick you anywhere they can.

When in doubt, delete the emails and don’t respond.

Ready to "bee cyber fit" and keep building your muscles?

Listen to our recent podcast episode. It reviews real risks Yale faced in 2023 and looks ahead to next year.

Join our 2024 Cyber Habit Challenge

Conventional wisdom says it takes 21 days to form a habit that sticks. The start of a new year is a great time to think about our cybersecurity habits and give them an upgrade! That’s why we’re kicking off 2024 by helping the Yale community build strong cyber habits that support enhanced cyber fitness.

Intrigued? Learn more about the upcoming campaign and the cyber habit challenge. Want in? Sign up to receive alerts about the 21-day challenge in January.