Cybercrimes are at an all-time High: How to Protect Yourself, Your Family and Your Identity Online

Cybercrimes are at an all-time High: How to Protect Yourself, Your Family and Your Identity Online

Cybercrimes are at an all-time High: How to Protect Yourself, Your Family and Your Identity Online

In the digital age, where online presence is intertwined with daily operations, understanding and safeguarding against online security scams and cyber hacks is paramount, especially for professionals in dynamic fields like those in the AMADC community. This comprehensive guide will explore various online security threats and provide actionable advice to protect your identity and data online.

Common Online Security Scams and Cyber Hacks

  1. Phishing Attacks:

Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords, and credit card numbers. They often do this through fake emails or websites that mimic legitimate organizations. Some common phishing attacks include:

  • Email Phishing

The most common form, where attackers send fraudulent emails mimicking legitimate organizations. These emails often urge recipients to take immediate action, leading them to fake websites where their information can be stolen.

  • Spear Phishing

A targeted form of phishing that involves sending personalized messages to specific individuals or organizations. Attackers often gather personal information about their targets to make the emails seem more credible.

  • Whaling

A subset of spear phishing, whaling targets high-profile individuals like CEOs or CFOs (“the big fish”). The goal is often to steal sensitive information or initiate unauthorized transfers of funds.

  • Vishing (Voice Phishing)

Instead of email, this method uses phone calls to scam the victim. The caller pretends to be from a trusted organization and manipulates the recipient into divulging personal or financial information.

  • Smishing (SMS Phishing)

Similar to vishing, smishing uses SMS texts to lure victims into clicking malicious links or providing personal data, exploiting the immediacy and convenience of text messaging.

  • Pharming

This method redirects users from legitimate websites to fraudulent ones by infecting a user’s device or manipulating the DNS server. It’s a more technical approach that doesn’t rely on baiting users with links.

  • Clone Phishing

Attackers create a nearly identical replica of a previously received email, but with malicious links or attachments. This exploits the victim’s trust in the sender.

  • Angler Phishing

A newer form that exploits social media platforms. Attackers impersonate customer service accounts to respond to real complaints and lure victims into providing login credentials or personal information.

  • Popup Phishing

Involves the use of fake pop-up windows on websites that mimic legitimate services. These pop-ups can appear on any site but often target financial or online transaction sites.

  • Business Email Compromise (BEC)

A sophisticated scam targeting companies with international suppliers or businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments. It involves compromising legitimate business email accounts to conduct unauthorized fund transfers.

Protection Against Phishing:

  • Be cautious with unsolicited communications, especially those that request personal information or immediate
  • Verify the sender by checking their email address or contact details through official channels.
  • Use updated anti-virus software and firewalls to protect against phishing and other malware.
  • Educate yourself and others about the latest phishing tactics and how to recognize them.
  • Implement two-factor authentication (2FA) for an additional layer of security on your accounts.
  • Create a special password with your family and loved ones in the event someone is pretending to be you and is asking for money.

Resource: FTC’s Guide on Phishing


  1. Ransomware Attacks:

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. These attacks can cripple businesses and lead to significant data loss.

Protection Tip: Regularly back up your data, and ensure your system’s security patches are up to date.

Resource: CISA’s Ransomware Guidance and Resources


  1. Identity Theft:

Identity theft occurs when someone unlawfully obtains your personal information to commit fraud or theft. This can severely impact your financial health and reputation.

Protection Tip: Monitor your accounts regularly for any unauthorized transactions and use strong, unique passwords for different accounts.



  1. Social Engineering Attacks:

Social engineering involves manipulating individuals into divulging confidential information. It can occur online or offline, leveraging psychological manipulation techniques.

Protection Tip: Be skeptical of unsolicited requests for sensitive information and educate yourself on common social engineering tactics.

Resource: StaySafeOnline’s Social Engineering


  1. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks:

In these attacks, hackers intercept communications between two parties to steal or manipulate the data being exchanged. This is common on unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Protection Tip: Avoid using public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions. Consider using a VPN for enhanced security.

Resource: Norton’s Guide on Man-in-the-Middle Attacks


  1. Voice Cloning:

Voice cloning as a crime refers to the unauthorized or malicious use of voice cloning technology to commit fraud, identity theft, or other illegal activities. Voice cloning technology has improved significantly with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), and it has become more common to replicate a person’s voice to convince the victim to divulge personal information, leading to a scam. . Here are some examples of how voice cloning is used with common scams:

  • Impersonation and Fraud:

Criminals can use cloned voices to impersonate victims, tricking family members, friends, or colleagues into transferring money, disclosing sensitive information, or granting access to secure systems.

  • Phishing Scams:

Enhanced phishing attacks could involve voice cloning to make fraudulent calls or messages appear more legitimate, convincing individuals that they are interacting with trusted contacts or authorities.

  • Identity Theft:

Voice cloning could be used to bypass security measures that rely on voice recognition, allowing criminals to access accounts, personal data, or secure locations by mimicking the voice of an authorized individual.

  • Disinformation Campaigns:

Cloned voices of public figures could be used to create fake news clips, speeches, or announcements, spreading false information to manipulate public opinion or destabilize societies.

  • Harassment and Blackmail:

Cloned voices could be used to create compromising or damaging audio recordings of individuals, which could then be used for harassment, blackmail, or defamation.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Identity Online

  • Use Comprehensive Security Software: Employ robust antivirus and anti-malware solutions to protect your devices from malicious attacks.
  • Practice Good Password Hygiene: Use complex passwords and consider a password manager to maintain strong, unique passwords for different sites.
  • Be Mindful of What You Share Online: Limit the amount of personal information you share on social media and online platforms.
  • Educate Yourself and Your Team: Regularly update your knowledge on the latest cyber threats and protection strategies.
  • Secure Your Home Network: Ensure your home Wi-Fi is secure, and regularly update your router’s firmware.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Wherever possible, use two-factor or multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to your accounts.

By staying informed and vigilant, members of the AMADC community can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to online security scams and cyber hacks. Implementing the tips and utilizing the resources provided in this guide will help protect your online presence and identity.

Additional Resources:

Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) – StaySafeOnline

Federal Trade Commission – Consumer Information on Privacy, Identity & Online Security


Navigating the DEI Landscape in 2024

Navigating the DEI Landscape in 2024

Happy New Year!

As we embark on a new journey filled with opportunities and growth, we at the AMADC’s DEI Committee extend warm wishes for a successful and inspiring year ahead.

Last October, I wrote about our board plans for the 23-24 term as VP of DEI. Since then, we have a small number of volunteers helping with strategizing and and executing content to support marketers with a DEI lens. Special thanks to DEI Committee Volunteer, Natalie Thomas and the AMADC marketing team. We hope you’re following our social media channels to utilize the resources but in case you missed it, here are some highlights.

What’s Coming Up

  • January: AMADC DEI member highlight video on social media
  • Thursday, February 15: Virtual Panel Discussion: What else can AMADC do to foster diversity and inclusion?
  • March: AMADC DEI member highlight video

In the spirit of embracing diversity and cultural awareness, we encourage you to commemorate Korean American Day on January 13th. This day serves as an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of Korean Americans to our society. To gain valuable insights into the Asian market and its nuances, we recommend watching a clip from the presentation Best in Class Asian Marketing at the 2023 Asian Marketing Summit by Howard Lichtman, 3AF Vice President and Co-Founder of Ethnicity Matters.

If you have any questions about any of our DEI initiatives, please contact our VP, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Veronica Purvis at

Critical Thinking: A Crucial Role in Achieving Marketing Excellence Today

Critical Thinking: A Crucial Role in Achieving Marketing Excellence Today

The ability to think critically is one of the most important skills marketers need to develop in today’s digital world. Consequently, marketers can make smart decisions backed by facts and logical arguments, leading to better company performance and success. Additionally, professional marketers must be capable of making and implementing decisions quickly. Learning to distinguish intelligence from critical thinking is vital to your marketing team’s success.

Moreover, critical thinking can take many forms in marketing, such as decision-making, content and brand auditing, prioritization, troubleshooting, case analysis, correlation, and data interpretation. Marketers employ critical thinking strategically in several ways, like:

  • Creative strategies: Critical thinkers can use creative strategies to look for creative messages that they want people to see.
  • Problem-solving and decision-making: Critical thinking helps marketers develop their problem-solving and decision-making skills.
  • Customer engagement: Critical thinkers are sure about the reasoning behind their decisions, allowing them to communicate with employees clearly. This level of communication enhances employee engagement.
  • Dealing with difficult customers: Critical thinking skills are essential for dealing with difficult customers because they help your team make informed decisions while managing stressful situations.

Would you consider critical thinking to be one of your strengths? Why do you need it? Do you enjoy analyzing situations, thinking outside the box from different perspectives, and making informed decisions through thoughtful consideration?

Furthermore, the ability to evaluate the credibility and accuracy of information, ask good questions about it, and act based on its importance to success is essential in critical thinking. An interesting article in HBR about how to develop critical thinking mentioned three elements. It requires the ability to recognize weakness in other arguments, a love for good evidence, and a willingness to reflect on your own perspectives, beliefs, and values.

Developing critical thinking takes practice, openness, and a willingness to challenge your assumptions. Incorporating these strategies into your daily routine will contribute to the development of robust critical thinking skills over time.

Examples of Critical Thinking

Certainly, the ability to critically analyze marketing campaigns is crucial to developing successful campaigns that resonate with your target audience and stand out from the competition. Further, marketers can drive business success by analyzing data, identifying market gaps, and generating creative ideas.  To illustrate, here are some examples:

  • The “Share a Coke” campaign by Coca-Cola is a great example of successful marketing through critical thinking—analyzing customer data to personalize products with popular names, fostering social media sharing, and a powerful call to action to engage customers and create a sense of community around the brand and achieving a 2.5% sales increase in the US, and winning prestigious awards, demonstrating how critical thinking can drive innovative and effective marketing strategies that resonate with customers and drive sales.
  • Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign showcases critical thinking in challenging beauty norms. Featuring diverse women, the campaign recognized shifting beauty perceptions, prioritizing authenticity, and relatability. Dove’s marketing team decided to break away from the industry norm of using airbrushed models, Dove celebrated natural beauty, resonating widely, fostering brand loyalty, and setting a new standard for inclusive marketing. Dove challenged beauty norms, resonating with consumers, fostering loyalty, and redefining inclusive marketing, setting a new industry standard.

Effective Critical Thinking

Moreover, many articles suggest different habits to help improve your critical thinking—tailor them to your style and practice consistently.  Cultivate keen observation, probing questions, deep reflection and analysis, creative synthesis, and decisive judgment for optimal results.

“In the words of Zig Ziglar, ‘It’s Attitude, Not Aptitude, Which Determines Altitude.’ This powerful statement highlights the importance of mindset over natural abilities.  This quote encourages critical thinking, prompting reflection on attitudes, and mindsets and emphasizing their impact on success and growth.

To sum up, being good at critical thinking is like a superpower for achieving success. It helps make smart decisions, boost company performance, and handle the challenges of the digital age. Whether it’s creative ideas, problem-solving, talking with customers, or dealing with tough situations, critical thinking is the key to clarity, good communication, and engaged employees. Succeed in marketing by practicing, embracing new ideas, and questioning the status quo—it’s the key to success in this dynamic field. Therefore, it is not just a valuable skill; it’s a cornerstone for success in today’s digital age. Marketers can enhance decision-making, customer engagement, and problem-solving in the dynamic and competitive field of marketing.

Championing Global Diversity: AMADC’s Renewed Commitment to Inclusivity and Equity

Championing Global Diversity: AMADC’s Renewed Commitment to Inclusivity and Equity

Global Diversity Awareness Month celebrates the values, contributions, and diversity of cultures and communities around the world. Our AMADC chapter diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) committee in October 2020 stated that every October, Global Diversity Awareness Month is a reminder of the positive impact a diverse culture of people can have on society as a whole. The month’s focus is an opportunity to highlight AMADC’s own commitment to diversity. Thanks to the DEI team, leadership support, and partners we made strides to develop a voice, presence, and awareness.

Several years later, AMADC is still committed to integrating inclusivity into every aspect of the organization-from our leadership to our programming, policies, and practices. This month we would like to share our revived efforts to support the marketing community.

Our new board member of DEI, Veronica Holmes Purvis, stressed that “we want to keep DEI at the forefront by providing a support system year-round for our community by highlighting regular DEI resources, practices, and having ongoing conversations that will aid and reflect our members.” I aim for us to be inclusive and unified in one AMADC. Our strategy will be to prioritize codifying resources for continuity; creating more content; collaborating with other organizations; and communicating efforts more widely. Please join our movement to drive these strategies.

Specific strategic objectives will be to:

  • Improve our AMADC DEI omni channel presence and information to enhance the experience of our members across our platforms.
  • Increase our overall AMADC DEI content, messaging, and programming to engage more constituents.
  • Collaborate more internally (with AMADC committees; AMA national board) and externally with potential organizations (like HBCUs and HSIs) to expand the chapter’s resources and reach.
  • Create more online and virtual DEI engagement opportunities with the marketing community.

AMA partnered with The Diversity Movement to provide learning opportunities for our community. AMADC will strive to share these resources regionally to extend the reach of these vital resources which are mostly free for members. The featured resource this month is the Global Diversity Awareness Month Guide for some ideas on how to create an authentic celebration of diversity at your organization.

October month-long observances include:


Get Involved and if you have any questions, please reach out to our VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), Veronica Purvis at


¡Avanza en tu carrera y oportunidades en Marketing con AMADC!

¡Avanza en tu carrera y oportunidades en Marketing con AMADC!


AMADC actúa como el centro de educación local destacada, programas y oportunidades de reuniones social para mercadólogos en la región de DC.

Como socio de AMADC, tendrás acceso a los recursos que necesitas para acelerar el desarrollo profesional y el crecimiento empresarial, así como numerosos beneficios exclusivos para socios.


Aunque ser socio de una organización nacional como AMA tiene sus ventajas, entendemos que el verdadero valor reside en la capacidad de conectarse con profesionales de ideas afines en el área metropolitana de DC. Es por eso que AMADC te ofrece beneficios adicionales a nivel local, que incluyen:

  • Oportunidad de ser voluntario con AMADC y participar más activamente en la comunidad de marketing de DC.
  • Descuentos en las tarifas de entrada a los encuentros mensuales de reuniones social (se requiere preinscripción).
  • Ahorros significativos para socios en todos los eventos de AMADC.
  • Programas de desarrollo profesional para ampliar habilidades y carreras en marketing y obtener créditos para los AMA PCM CEUs.


  • Contenido exclusivo para socios a través de
  • Acceso a documentos técnicos específicos de la industria y disciplina
  • Acceso a publicaciones específicas de la industria y disciplina
  • Webcasts y podcasts exclusivos para socios
  • Boletines electrónicos de AMA
  • Kit de herramientas para mercadólogos de AMA


  • Accede al Centro de Recursos de Carrera en, donde puedes encontrar cientos de ofertas de trabajo en marketing, consejos y estrategias para tu carrera, pautas para entrevistas y currículums, un panel de “consulta al experto”, y más.
  • $20 de descuento en el programa de Mercadólogo Certificado Profesional (PCM) (¡solo en AMADC!)


  • Descuentos significativos en todos los eventos nacionales de AMA, incluyendo conferencias y Series de Capacitación.
  • Una suscripción a “Marketing News”.
  • Una suscripción a otra revista o periódico especializado publicado por AMA de tu elección.


Afiliación de Organización Nacional: con tu afiliación, recibirás una introducción a la AMA Nacional – visita otros capítulos de AMA alrededor del país, accede a la riqueza de recursos en línea que ponen a tu alcance y regístrate en webinars gratuitos con gurús del marketing de todo el país – ¡las posibilidades son infinitas! También obtendrás una suscripción a la revista mensual de AMA, la cual presenta tendencias innovadoras de marketing, mejores prácticas y testimonios de otros profesionales de todo el país.

¡La afiliación definitivamente tiene sus recompensas cuando te unes a AMADC! ¡Únete a nosotros y comienza tu viaje!


En AMA encontrarás varias opciones de afiliación. Elige la que se adapte a tu trayectoria profesional en marketing.

Los mercadólogos están aquí para ayudarte con las herramientas y el conocimiento que necesitas para liderar tu trayectoria profesional, avanzar y tener éxito.



($29 facturados anualmente)

Para estudiantes de pregrado y posgrado que no se encuentren actualmente en un puesto profesional de tiempo completo. Limitado a 5 años.​


$12.42/mes ($149 facturados anualmente)

Para todas las personas que trabajan en el campo del marketing.


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Llama al (800) AMA-1150 para registrar tu grupo.

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