S-G Owners Association, Inc. Official Newsletter
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S-G Owners Association, Inc. | November 2021 Online | myneighborhoodnews.com 1
S-G OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. ONSITE OFFICES & IMPORTANT NUMBERS
ASSOCIATION’S MANAGEMENT COMPANY
Associa® Principal Management Group of Houston
(PMG) has been contracted by the Board of Directors
to manage the day-to-day activities of the community.
Principal Management Group of Houston
11000 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 150
Houston, TX 77041 | 713-329-7100
TO CONTACT THE BOARD:
In order to contact the community’s Board of Directors
or if residents have concerns, questions about their
account or deed restriction violations to report,
please send in a request through TownSq or put the
information in writing and send via email to your
onsite office, email@example.com.
STONE GATE ONSITE OFFICE:
11655 Canyon Green Dr., Houston, TX 77095
PH: 832-653-3763 Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
General Manager - Krystal Vigil
Asst. Manager - Jennifer Hidalgo
ACC REQUESTS: firstname.lastname@example.org
SG SPLASHPAD TEXAS (SGSP)
9901 Red Rugosa, Houston, TX 77095
PH: 832-653-3763 Email: email@example.com
Please visit or contact the on-site office for assistance.
11755 Canyon Green Dr 281-256-3620
Remington MUD #1 281-579-4500
24 HR. CUSTOMER SERVICE LINE 281-398-8211
WCA Waste 281-368-8397
NON-EMERGENCY: (SHERIFF’S OFFICE) 713-221-6000
Cy-Fair VFD 281-550-6663
Department of Public Safety (DPS) 281-232-4334
PUBLISHED BY: KRENEK PRINTING
www.krenekprinting.com • 281-463-8649
INFORMATION ON BUSINESS ADS: firstname.lastname@example.org
NON-PROFIT ARTICLE REQUESTS: email@example.com
Birkes Elementary School 281-345-3300
Lamkin Elementary School 281-897-4775
Postma Elementary School 281-345-3660
Woodard Elementary School 281-373-2303
Aragon Middle School 281-856-5100
Anthony Middle School 281-373-5660
Spillane Middle School 281-213-1645
Cy-Ranch High School 281-373-2300
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
President - Tu-Anh Connelly (Term Expires: 1/2024)
Vice President - Stephanie Wade (Term Expires: 1/2023)
Treasurer - Wendy Ray (Term Expires: 1/2024)
Secretary - Larry Connelly (Term Expires: 1/2023)
Director - Chuck Detwiler III (Term Expires: 1/2022)
YOUR HOA HAS BEEN
HARD AT WORK!
• All gates are now closed. Each gated section received a new
callbox, Transcore reader, and safety loops. For the sections with
the old callbox monument or gooseneck, we will be transferring
the new callboxes to the new callbox monuments. While the
transfer is in progress, the gates in the affected section will be
open until the transfer is completed. Once the transfer is complete
the old monument or gooseneck stand will be removed, gate
equipment will be tested to ensure it is operational and the gates
will be closed.
• CFISD buses have been entered into the new callbox so they can
open the gates automatically. Gates are now closed 24 hours a
day, seven days a week.
Cameras are being installed throughout the community at
common areas and gates
• The HOA approved adding new streetlights on Queenston,
Tuckerton, Cypress North Houston, Island Shores Circle, and
Bakers Village. The HOA maintained streetlights at Mallory Bridge
and Danbury Bridge will be replaced with Centerpoint maintained
• Faded gate signs have been replaced with new signs.
• Tennis courts at the clubhouse and Splash Pad will be resurfaced.
New pickleball lines will be painted on one court at each location.
New, brighter LED lights have been installed.
• The HOA is pressure washing sidewalks and brick walls
throughout the community.
• Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies have been given access to
the Splash Pad building as a rest area. The building has restrooms,
kitchen, and an office for deputies.
• The HOA is transitioning the Architectural Control Committee to
residents. Currently board members are on the committee.
REMEMBER TO TRIM YOUR TREES
Residents, please trim your street trees to ensure no branches are
lower than 14 feet from the street and 8 feet from the sidewalk.
CFISD has contacted the HOA and said low branches are damaging
buses. Low branches impede your neighbors from using sidewalks.
NEW GENERAL MANAGER AND PHONE
The Board of Directors are hard at work and cannot wait to share
the details of all of the exciting improvements being made in our
community! Until then please note we have hired a new General
Manager named Krystal Vigil and onsite staff who cannot wait to
serve our amazing residents. We will formally announce the new
team as soon as they are all on Board. The Social Committee is
planning a Meet & Greet so you can stop by and welcome the new
staff and Board of Directors. Stay tuned for the event details.
In addition to a new staff, the onsite office also has a new phone
number. Please delete all other phone numbers you have saved
for our onsite office and use the following number to reach our
new onsite team: 832-653-3763. They can also be reached via
email at firstname.lastname@example.org, but the best way to reach them is
The Board of Directors, S-G Owners Association, Inc.
ONSITE OFFICES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
We are practicing extreme caution for the safety of our residents
and staff by limiting the amount of visitors we receive at the onsite
offices. There are many things that can be resolved via email, but
we understand there are some things you may need to visit the
office to resolve. If you would like to visit the onsite office, please
email your Onsite Manager to schedule an appointment.
Stone Gate email@example.com
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
November 2021 | S-G Owners Association, Inc.
HOW TO CONTACT HOA
The Board of Directors are hard at work and cannot wait to
share the details of all of the exciting improvements being
made in our community! Until then please note we have
hired a new General Manager named Krystal Vigil and onsite
staff who cannot wait to serve our amazing residents. We will
formally announce the new team as soon as they are all on
Board. The Social Committee is planning a Meet & Greet so you
can stop by and welcome the new staff and Board of Directors.
Stay tuned for the event details. In addition to a new staff, the
onsite office also has a new phone number. Please delete all
other phone numbers you have saved for our onsite office and
use the following number to reach our new onsite team: 832-
653-3763. They can also be reached via email at stonegaterec@
att.net, but the best way to reach them is on TownSq.
STONE GATE HOA NEW WEBSITE
The HOA has a new website. Documents and maps are easily
accessible. Please register for access.
LOU'S PAINTING, Ltd.
• Interior - Exterior
• Power Washing
• Sheetrock & Texture
• HardiPlank ® Replacement
• Minor Repairs
Your home is an expensive investment!
Painting beautifies &
preserves that investment!
O 281-492-2643 C 281-844-4338
"Doing business from the same location since 1978"
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
Caring Professionals for over 35 years in the Bear Creek Area!
75 Off for New Patient Exams
25 Off Dental Treatment for (existing patients)
(Not valid with any other offer. EXPIRES 11/30/21. Must present
coupon at the time of service. Valid for only one use per patient)
The HOA will be sending important community updates, event
information and other announcements through the TownSq
app. We encourage you to please download the app to stay up
to date with the community. TownSq is the preferred method
of communication for anything related to the community
association and your account.
16100 Cairnway, Suite 285
• Advanced Laser Dentistry
• Digital X-Rays for reduced Radiation
• Affordable, Flexible, No interest payment options.
Ready to join TownSq? Your account is already set up and ready
Register using your Account ID and Zip Code https://app.
Download the app and start experiencing community your
If you are having trouble signing up for TownSq or need
your account number, contact the onsite office staff for help.
Once logged in, you will instantly be able to customize your
communication settings to start receiving notifications - when
and how you want!
Call our experts for all of your electrical needs!
• Panel Upgrade / Replacement
• Ceiling Fan Installation
• Smoke Detectors
24-Hour Emergency ! Service
• Indoor/Outdoor Lighting
• Surge Protection
• Flat Screen TV Installation
Residential & Commercial Service • Family Owned & Operated • Licensed & Insured
*5-Year Warranty, Satisfaction Guaranteed
7 1 3 -- 4 6 7 -- 1 | 1 w 2 ii 5 r e d e ss .. c o m
Join other Stone Gate Residents on the official Stone Gate
HOA resident ran Facebook page. The page allows discussion
between residents and also posts all the up-to-date
information from TownSq.
s a v e $25 OFF
YOUR NEXT SERVICE
CALL IN NOVEMBER!
Not to be combined with any other discount or
offer. Not valid on generator maintenance.
Master #100394 TECL # 22809
S-G Owners Association, Inc. | November 2021 3
• Diagnose & Repair
• Panel Upgrades
• Surge Protection
• Custom Lighting
• Smart Switches
Randy & Sandi Deyo, Owner-operator TMEL 33838
FREE Estimates ● 2 Hour Appointment Windows
5 Year Warranty ● Flexible Payment Plans
Military/Veteran Discount ● Senior Discount
YOUR AD COULD
Helping Build Businesses & Bring
Communities Together since 1979
Visit our website for a full
price list or call our office today!
Attorney At Law
Serving Businesses and Families Since 1983
• Wills • Trusts • Probate
• Divorce • Employment
• Adoption • Consumer Law
• Incorporation • Collections
• Partnership • Liens
• Real Estate • Commercial Law
15840 FM 529, Suite 280
Houston, Texas 77095
Located in the Chase Bank Building on FM 529
DECEMBER 11TH • 12-4 PM
STERLING GOLF CLUB AND
THE FIELD ACROSS FROM
Let's get into the holiday spirit! Come by
the clubhouse, 11655 Canyon Green Drive,
from 9 am to 5 pm on November 13th
and pick up a gingerbread house. One
kit per household. Please bring a driver's
license, bill, or other documentation to
show proof of residency in Stone Gate.
Please send us pictures of your decorated
gingerbread house. We'll showcase your
houses on our website, TownSq and the
Stone Gate Resident’s Facebook page.
Santa is coming to Stone Gate!
Please join us for our annual
Cookies with Santa event at
Sterling Golf, 16500 Houston
National Blvd, on December
11th from 12-4 pm. The HOA
will provide cookies, lemonade,
and hot chocolate. After taking
pictures inside the clubhouse with Santa, put on your boots and gloves
and come play in the snow! 40,000 pounds of snow will turn the field
across from Sterling Golf into a Winter Wonderland. A 2-lane 7 foot tall
slide will be brought in to race your family and friends. This will be an
event to remember. Snow much fun!
TEENAGE JOB SEEKERS
Neither the subdivision, nor Krenek Printing is responsible for those listed
on the Teenage Job Seeker List. Please ask for and check out references
if you do not personally know those listed. This is just a list of teenagers
from the subdivision who wish to find part time jobs. Responsibility for
any work done by these teenagers is between those seeking helpers and
the teens and their parents.
B - BABYSITTING, CPR - CPR CERT., FAC - FIRST AID CERT., RCC
- RED CROSS CERT., SS - SAFE SITTER, SL - SWIM LESSONS, PP
- PET/PLANT SITTER, P - PET CARE ONLY, H - HOUSE CARE, L -
LAWN CARE, C- CAR CARE/DETAILING, T - TUTORING
Emma Ramirez - B, P 16 713-552-3720
Kaelyn Carr - P 15 832-248-8862
Bailey Jacobs - B, SS, PP 16 713-597-1006
Lyssa Vick - B, P, PP 14 281-433-9353
Camryn Kerlick - B, P 16 832-515-6394
Jarai Young - B, P 15 346-412-6343
Kahlen Herron - B, PP, H 16 832-391-8114
Mekhai Parker - B, RCC 15 916-465-3352
Alex Davis - B, SS, PP, H, L, C 16 513-550-4182
Chosen Davis - SS, PP, H, L, C 14 513-550-4182
Azzure Palmer - PP, H, L, C 13 513-550-4182
Colton Elliott - T (1-10 M-No Geo) 16 540-604-8148
Trevin Gatto - B, SL, FAC, P, PP, T 17 832-870-1214
Coleman Gatto - P, PP, T (M) 14 832-674-3508
Tanner Dearing - PP 15 281-546-2616
Brady Dearing - PP 13 281-546-2616
Rahifah Rahifah - B, SS, PP, H, T (S,M,O (K-8)) 16 929-503-2362
Preston Ayers - PP, H 14 713-249-0902
Dominique Lowe - B, H 15 832-674-6229
Miranda Crosby - B 16 713-822-4428
Maryam Huseyn - PP 14 346-777-3003
Van Tran - T (S,M (K-8)) 14 832-434-4350
November 2021 | S-G Owners Association, Inc.
For all of your plumbing needs, call...
Nobody cares for eyes more than Pearle ®
Dr. A. Bains
Most vision plans accepted
With frame purchase.
Polycarbonate Lenses Included. Some
restrictions may apply. See associate
for details. Good at Cypress location only.
Coupon must be presented at time of
service. Cannot be combined with any
other promotion or insurance benefits.
Vision Plastic Lenses
Tint Purchase Necessary.
Dilation extra. Good at Cypress location only.
See associate for details. Some
restrictions may apply. Coupon must be
presented at time of service. Cannot be
combined with any other promotion or
insurance benefits. Expires 12-15-21
Optomap Digital Exams
25905 Hwy 290 @ Spring Cypress (next door to Target)
With frame purchase.
Polycarbonate, high-index & progressive.
Good at Cypress location only. Some
restrictions may apply. See associate
for details. Coupon must be presented at
time of service. Cannot be combined with
any other promotion or insurance benefits.
Includes eye exam, contact lens fitting, follow-up
exam, care kit plus 2 boxes (12 lenses)of Acuvue
2 Disposable Contact Lenses. Dilation extra. See
associate for details. Some restrictions may
apply. Good at Cypress location only. Coupon
must be presented at time of service. Cannot be
combined with any other promotion or insurance
benefits. Expires 12-15-21
Low Price Guarantee
Licensed and Insured
Follow me on Angie’s List
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR
• FAMILY OWNED • REFERENCES • INSURED & BONDED • 22 YEARS EXPERIENCE
Sewer Camera Inspection and Drain Cleaning
Garbage Disposal and Faucet • Water Heater • Repipe
Sewer Repair • Pipe Repair • Toilet Installation
*Cannot be combined with any other offers
ONE CALL DOES IT ALL!
Your Neighborhood Plumber
With this Ad
Call or Text
• Pressure Washing
• Sheetrock /Texture
• HardiePlank ®
• Crown Molding
Complete Plumbing & Drain Service
We Welcome Your Questions • Open 7 Days a Week
Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri/Sat 9:30 - 5:30
Wed 10:30 - 6:30
S-G Owners Association, Inc. | November 2021 5
November 2021 | S-G Owners Association, Inc.
& Steel Fences
PAINTED, REPAIRED & WELDED
Specializing in Lakeside & Golf Course Fences
John’s Fence Solutions
FREE ESTIMATES FOR HOMES
For All Your Electrical Needs!
With Any Breaker Box Replacement
Any Job Over $ 150
FREE Estimates | Bonded & Insured
Always on time!
Come Experience the Transforming
Power and the Accepting Love of
Building the Kingdom of God - Together!
Sunday Services: 8 am & 10:30 am
International Festival: Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021 3-5pm
17020 West Rd. @ Queenston
Houston, TX 77095 • 281.463.7330
S-G Owners Association, Inc. | November 2021 7
fun Things to do
Houston Día de los Muertos Parade
November 6, 2021, 2 PM - 10 PM
Houston City Hall, 901 Bagby St, Houston
With this heartfelt parade, it is our mission to celebrate
the living and honor our beloved. No matter
who you are, no matter where you are from, we want you to attend
the parade and festival. If there is something we all share is the love
and grief for our family and friends who left us and in this Dia de
los Muertos, we are all one.
St. Cuthbert Church Sixteenth
Annual International Festival
November 6th, 3-5 PM
St. Cuthbert Church will host the Sixteenth Annual
International Festival on Saturday, November 6 th
from 3-5 PM in the front yard of the church. The International Festival
honors all the different countries, heritages and backgrounds
represented in our very unique and diverse congregation. With
health and safety precautions at the forefront, the Festival includes
food, entertainment and so much more to learn about our world.
St. Cuthbert is located at 17020 West Road, Houston, 77095.
Visit stcuthbert.org for more information. Come experience the
international world of St. Cuthbert and never leave your zip code!
Thurs, November 11, 10 AM - 8 PM
Friday, November 12, 10 AM - 8 PM
Saturday, November 13, 10 AM - 6 PM
Sunday, November 14, 10 AM - 5 PM
Whether you are a shopper, committee member, staff member, donor,
volunteer, merchant, vendor, sponsor, or social media follower, YOU
have been an integral part in making this Market the success that it
is. Without your interest, curiosity, passion, dedication, enthusiasm,
generosity, hard work, commitment, and love… the Market simply
wouldn’t be where it is today. Since our inception in 1981, YOU have
helped us contribute over $75.3 million dollars to the Houston Ballet
Foundation in support of its Academy and scholarship programs.
Although saying “Thank You” does not seem to be enough, we are
truly grateful for 40 years of support.
November 13th & 14th
11/13-11/14 Traders Village, 7979 N. Eldridge Pkwy
A two day Native American Powwow with colorful
tribal dance contests, and arts & crafts show, tipis,
honoring ceremonies, singing and much more! Presented by the DFW
Inter-Tribal Association. https://tradersvillage.com/houston/events/powwow/
Dickens Market at Cypress Creek
November 12th & 13th, 9 AM - 4 PM
This year’s annual Dickens Market features all types
of vendors from food, crafts, Christmas gifts, books,
and anything else you can think of to check off your
holiday shopping lists. The market also features carolers from the
Cypress Creek Community Chorale and guest elementary school
choirs. In addition, we have raffles for items donated by our vendors.
Raffle tickets are on sale only during the market and winners will be
contacted via phone call after the drawings take place. Winners will
have 24 hours to respond.
The market will take place as long as the pandemic has been contained
and the community center/church reopened to the public.
Please help protect our wonderful vendors and patrons who may be
more vulnerable than you by socially distancing, wearing a mask,
and washing your hands.
YMCA Turkey Dash -
A Community Tradition
The Katy Area YMCA’s will host the 19 th Annual
YMCA Turkey Dash to be held at Monty Ballard
YMCA at Cinco Ranch Providing Fitness, Fun and Holiday Fellowship
safely for the Whole Family on Thanksgiving Day, November 25,
2021. The tradition returns for 2021 and we are excited to return
to hosting a live race that will run through the Cinco Ranch
community as in years passed. With four events to choose from,
there’s something for everyone; a 10K, 5K, 1 Mile Walk/Run, a 1
mile Kids’ Run and also a Virtual Race option. Live races will be
start and conclude at Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch. All
registered race participants will receive a t-shirt with their race
packets and those completing their Live 10k and 5k will receive
a finisher’s medal. Youth participating in the Live 1 Mile Kids’ Run
will receive a kids’ run finisher’s medal. 5,000 participants and
more than 1,500 spectators and volunteers are expected to take
part in this year’s event. Race day highlights include 10K and 5K
awards in age categories, a post race party featuring refreshments,
local businesses, games and a Kids Fun Zone. A runners’ costume
contest will be held with awards for most creative, best theme and
judge’s choice. In addition to completing a good race, participants
have the satisfaction of knowing their race fees go toward a good
cause, the YMCA Be The Change Campaign. This annual fundraiser
ensures that Katy families have access to Y programs and services
regardless of their ability to pay. Interested in participating,
volunteering or becoming a sponsor? Visit https://runsignup.com/
Race/TX/Katy/KatyYMCATurkeyDash, email ymcaturkeydash@
ymcahouston.org or call the YMCA at 281-392-5055
November 2021 | S-G Owners Association, Inc.
Fairfield Christmas Market
December 4, 2021, 9 AM - 2 PM
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
20155 Cypresswood Dr, Cypress
A variety of vendors selling an assortment of products
- perfect for Christmas shopping! Come early, as we hear many of the
vendors often run out of their goods before noon!
Texas Renaissance Festival
Weekends, Now - Nov 28 &
Thanksgiving Friday, 9 AM - 8 PM
Since 1974, there has been a magical kingdom
about an hour north of the Houston area, where
guests can step through the gates and enter an enchanted world
filled with kings and queens, knights and nobles, fairies and elves,
pirates and peasants, and other fanciful delights.
CFISD Country Christmas Craft Show
December 4th, 9 AM - 5 PM •
December 5th, 10 AM - 4 PM
Cy-Fair ISD Exhibit Center,
11206 Telge Road, Cypress, TX 77429
Dickens on the Strand
December 3-5th, 2021
The Strand, Galveston
The annual holiday street festival, based on 19th-century
Victorian London, features parades, non-stop
entertainment on multiple stages, strolling carolers,
roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers, and a host of other entertainers.
Costumed vendors peddle their wares from street stalls and
rolling carts laden with holiday food and drink, Victorian-inspired
crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations, and gift items.
Jingle All The 5K, 10K, Kids Dash
December 4th, 8 AM - 11 AM
12/4 Energy Corridor District, 777 N. Eldridge Pkwy, Houston
Kick-start your holiday festivities and outpace that
mischievous abominable snowmonster with the whole family and join us!
Holiday Market Expo
December 2nd, 12-4 PM
The Hilton Rooftop, 6633 Travis St, Houston, TX 77081
Come enjoy rooftop vibes with breathtaking panoramic
views of Houston’s skyline. This event will be filled with
great networking opportunities, shopping, great food, entertainment,
resources and some of Houston’s most dedicated community leaders.
Wreaths Across America
December 18, 2021, 11 AM
Houston National Cemetery,
10410 Veterans Memorial Dr, Houston
Come by and take a few minutes to honor a veteran
and see what Wreaths Across America is all about. There is no charge.
For full details visit, https://waahouston.com
International Food Festival
December 18, 2021, 12 PM - 6 PM
The Zone, 10371 Stella Link, Houston, TX 77025
The Best caterers from around the world! Live
performances, cultural music & dancing, crafts,
clothing, service vendors and more! Free entry with RSVP to www.
texasfoodfest.com. For more info contact Ms. Clara at 832-461-6729.
Home For The Holidays
November 19th - 21st, 2021
First Call Friday, 10 AM - 2 PM
General Admission Friday, 2 PM - 6 PM
Saturday, 10 AM - 6 PM
Sunday, 11 AM - 4 PM
Leonard. E Merrell Center
6301 S Stadium Ln. Katy, TX, 77494
Three days of fun, holiday shopping is underway with Katy’s largest
gift market! With more than 150 merchants to shop with, you’re sure
to find lots of new, unique, and One-of-A-Kind gifts all in one place to
have you ready for all your festive events. Grab your girlfriends, mom,
or daughter, and come enjoy the fun, while shopping and supporting
some of the cutest shops at Home for the Holidays Gift Market!
S-G Owners Association, Inc. | November 2021 9
AND PUMPKINS PLEASE!
10710 Barker Cypress
(about one mile south of Hwy. 290 in the
HSE Medical Parking Lot)
6 GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING BUT COST US LITTLE
by Carl Phillips
“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.” - Jim Rohn
Whatever the time of year, here are some ideas for gifts we can give that have the potential to improve the lives of those around. Gifts
that keep on giving.
1) Giving the Gift of Our Full Attention. Give the gift of
your full attention to others around you and allow them
the stage they deserve.
2) Giving the Gift of Kindness. There are many ways
we can offer the gift of our kindness. Not expecting
anything in return except maybe the warm feeling we
get from knowing we are doing something good for
3) Giving the Gift of Our Time. We can do this by
taking our commitments seriously. By booking in
time with friends and keeping that time free for those
friends. By making time to stop and shoot the breeze
for a while with a neighbor. By taking time out to
spend disconnected from the online world to spend
undistracted with a loved one.
4) Giving the Gift of Judging Less. We’re all human
and sometimes we make mistakes in life. In such times
it can help us all if we can talk to someone that will just
listen without making judgements. Good friends will
do this but we can also extend this gift to others. Judge
less and remember, none of us are perfect.
5) Giving the Gift of a Heartfelt Compliment. Closely
aligned with 1 and 2 on this list, this is also worthy of
its own spot. A well timed and earnest compliment can
have an immediate and positive impact on the recipient.
It shows we have noticed something in others.
6) Giving the Gift of Gratitude. Letting others know
how grateful we are for them being in our lives can
mean a lot. Expressing how we appreciate all they do
for us. How they inspire us or have been there for us in
challenging times. Let others know you are grateful for
them just the way they are.
Courtesy of: www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-phillips/6-gifts-that-
S-G Owners Association, Inc. | November 2021 11
10 Cyber Safety
Tips for Black
Friday & Cyber
More and more people are shopping online, avoiding lines, crowds and
interactions with others, especially in this time of COVID. This has created
the perfect environment for criminals to launch scams, phishing attacks,
and other malicious activities.
The amount of money spent over this cyber weekend is escalating year
after year, and due to the COVID pandemic, it continues to escalate to
staggering numbers. Cybercriminals follow the money, and this weekend
of crazed spending provides them with the perfect opportunity to scam
a large number of people. According to Barclays, nearly a quarter of
18-34-year-olds have fallen for a Black Friday scam in the past five years
and shoppers lose on average $910 after falling victim to such frauds.
With attacks becoming more sophisticated, shoppers need to be extra
cautious when looking for the latest bargains online.
Below are 10 Cyber Safety tips to keep you safe online this Black Friday
and Cyber Monday:
1. Watch Out for Fake Websites
This is one of the most popular ways criminals will try to trick shoppers
into falling for their Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams. The fraudsters
will clone websites to dupe consumers into thinking they are shopping on
a legitimate site. The website may appear almost identical to the real site;
however, subtle changes can indicate that all is not as it seems.
A web address that ends .com or .co may be changed to a .org, images
may be pixilated, functions on the site may not work properly and the
content will often be sub-standard. It’s always worth double- checking
the address of a site to confirm its authenticity.
2. Only Use Secure Sites
Before entering any information into a website, you should always check
that the site is safe and secure. The first step is to hover your mouse over
the URL and check the validity of the web address. You should look for a
padlock symbol in the address bar and check that the URL begins with a
‘https://’ or ‘shttp://’. The ‘S’ indicates the web address has been encrypted
and secured with an SSL certificate. Without HTTPS, any data passed on
the site is insecure and could be intercepted by criminal third parties.
However, this system is not totally foolproof. Within the last year, there
has been a significant increase in the number of phishing sites using SSL
certificates. Users are advised to be extra cautious and look for further
evidence that the site is secure. You should check for a website privacy
policy, use a website safety check tool such as Google Safe Browsing, or
do a WHOIS lookup to see who owns the website.
3. Use a Credit Card for Shopping Online
When possible, it’s always best to use a credit card when shopping
online as it offers additional protection over other forms of payment. If a
fraudulent purchase is made on your credit card, there’s a good chance
your bank will reimburse you straight away. However, if a criminal steals
your debit card details, they can clear out your personal account and it
can be more difficult to reclaim the money.
4. Beware of Phishing Emails
Phishing is one of the most popular ways for criminals to steal your
personal information and there is always a massive increase in these types
of scams on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The speed, convenience and
high return on investment makes phishing one of the easiest ways for
cybercriminals to steal your personal data without you even knowing.
As Cyber Monday approaches, be wary of any emails offering cash prizes
or last-minute deals. These emails are designed to trick shoppers into
clicking on a link which may appear to come from a well-known retailer.
Trust your gut if you think there’s something not right about the email
and delete it immediately.
5. Avoid Deals That Are Too Good to Be True
Black Friday and Cyber Monday feature lots of legitimate deals offered by
trusted and reputable retailers. However, cybercriminals know we’ll be
scouring the web for the cheapest deals and they take advantage of this
by slipping in lots of fake offers.
November 2021 | S-G Owners Association, Inc.
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Compass is a licensed real estate broker. The Jill Smith Team is a real estate team of agents affiliated
with Compass. All material is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources
deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price condition, sale, or withdrawal
without notice. No financial or legal advice provided. Equal Housing Opportunity.
Be wary of any emails, pop-ups, or posts on social media promising rock
bottom prices. Clicking on the link could bring you straight to a phishing
site or you may end up downloading malware onto your device. It can be
hard to distinguish between a real bargain and a fake so it’s best to do
your research to find out if the site is credible or go directly to a brand’s
website to determine if the deal is real. It’s always worth remembering
that if an offer seems too good to be true, it usually is!
6. Use Strong Passwords
You’ll have heard it a million times, but creating a strong password really
is one of the easiest ways you can protect yourself from being hacked
online. With so many passwords to remember, it can be tempting to use
the same password for multiple accounts, however, this puts you at great
risk of having your data stolen. If hackers can work out just one of your
passwords, whether it’s a Facebook account or online banking details,
they can potentially access every single account you have.
It’s always best to use a unique username and password for separate online
accounts so that in the unfortunate event of being phished, the attackers
won’t have access to your other online accounts. A great way to create a
longer and more complex password is to use a passphrase. A passphrase
is a sentence like string of words that is memorable to you but difficult for
anyone else to crack. The first letter of each word will form the basis of your
password and letters can be substituted with numbers and symbols to
make it even more secure.
7. Watch Out for Social Media Scams
Social media scams are rife on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The crooks
know that people are going online to specifically look for deals, so they make
it as easy as they can for shoppers to fall for their online scams. Facebook
and Twitter tend to be the favoured choice for these malicious posts and
criminals will ask shoppers to like and share their posts, so they’re boosted
to the top of news feeds and reach a wider audience. Users tend to be more
trusting on social media and it’s often more difficult to determine if a link is
malicious than it would be on a more traditional platform.
8. Avoid Public Wi-Fi When Shopping
Using public Wi-Fi to search for the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday
deals could open you up to a range of security risks. Public Wi-Fi requires
no authentication to establish a network connection, allowing fraudsters
direct access to any unsecured devices on the same open network. This
enables hackers to steal valuable information such as login passwords,
credit card info and other personal and financial details.
Unsecured Wi-Fi networks can also be used to spread malware
allowing criminals unrestricted access to everything on your device.
This information can in turn be used to commit identity fraud, or the
information can be sold on to criminal third parties.
9. Ensure All Your Software is Up To Date
Before going online to shop about for the hottest deals, you should
make sure that all your security software is up to date. This will
prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your computer through
vulnerabilities in older and outdated systems. The installation of antivirus
software will also help detect threats on your computer and block
unauthorised users from gaining access.
10. Monitor Bank Statements for Fraudulent Activity
It’s always worth keeping a close eye on bank statements to make sure
there are no unusual transactions on your account. Criminals know that
during Black Friday and Cyber Monday there will be lots of online activity,
so they hope that any unusual debits from your account will go undetected.
Typically, the crooks will make a few initial debits for smaller amounts
then go in for a larger amount which could clean out your bank account.
S-G Owners Association, Inc. | November 2021 13
5 cups bread cubes
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup white sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon margarine,
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Lightly butter an 8x8 inch baking pan. Line bottom of
pan with bread cubes. In a large bowl, beat together
eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour
egg mixture over bread. Dot with margarine; let stand
for 10 minutes. -- Combine remaining 2 tablespoons
sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle over
the top. Bake in preheated oven about 45 to 50
minutes, until top is golden.
Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash
with Cranberries & Kale
2 medium butternut squash about 2 1/2 pounds each
2 teaspoons olive oil divided
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 bunch kale stems removed and chopped
(about 6 lightly packed cups)
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for roasting squash
1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus additional for roasting squash
1 can low sodium chickpeas (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
Zest of 1 orange plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/3 cup reduced sugar dried cranberries
Grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese, optional
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat
the oven to 425 degrees F. Halve the butternut
squash, scoop out the seeds, then arrange the halves
on a baking tray, cut sides up. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon
olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake
45-55 minutes, just until the squash is fork tender.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven
temperature to 375 degrees.
While the squash is baking, place the broth in a small
saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, return
to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer
for 12 minutes, until most of the broth is absorbed.
Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 15
minutes. Fluff with a fork, then set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive
over medium. Add the kale and cook until wilted,
about 4 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium
low. Add the garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and
1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 30 additional seconds,
until is fragrant. Stir in the chickpeas, orange
zest, orange juice, cooked quinoa, and cranberries.
Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out
the flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick border around
the sides and a 3/4-inch border along the bottom.
Reserve the flesh for another use (or if you don’t
mind a super duper stuffed squash, mix it in with the
rest of the filling). Stuff the kale quinoa filling into
the squash halves, then return the squash to the
oven. Bake at 375 degrees until hot, about 10 additional
minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve warm.
November 2021 | S-G Owners Association, Inc.
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