Tag Archives: security

A Revisit to Passwords

I was reading a blog post by a woman who had to choose a new password for her blog because they old one had been hacked.  She had also had her debit card hacked.

This is the life we live in. If computers are going to make our lives easier and faster, it will also be true that some people will do harm through them.

I gave a post on creating passwords some time ago.  Since then I have learned a couple of things that will help keep your computer files and money saf-er.  No computer is entirely safe from hacking.  Even if you don’t have it hooked up to the Internet, someone could break into your house, steal the computer, and hack it later.  But passwords are great IF they are selected with some care.  For example:

These are people who have scammed people for a long time, but now can do it, mostly, from their home through computers. Most computers are fairly easy to be hacked, but you can deter them by using a password 12-20 characters long where you use at least 1 letter lower-cased, 1 letter upper-cased, 1 number, and 1 acceptable special character. Now, don’t make it your phone number or something like that. Ideally, it should have letters and characters on both sides of the keyboard and be a pretty random assortment of characters. Never reuse a password. And, when you do the secret questions, don’t use real answers, use ones that you will remember because they are ridiculous. “Where were you born?” Answer: elevator.

This is a very simple and fairly uncomplicated explanation of how to choose passwords.  If you have to write them down, fine, do it on a pencil/pen notebook and leave that notebook at home.  I have approximately 37 passwords and all of them follow the rules from above.  And you need to do the same for every password.  You never know what a person could learn if they hacked your “game” password.  Norton has a great program that “remembers” your passwords and encrypts them, putting them into the site when requested.  You can also view your passwords here to see what they are if you need to manually enter one.  Not foolproof, just good.  I am told that most hackers will not usually mess with your account if the password is up to speed.  Ideally, you should change them every 30 days.  The big reason for this is that if someone is working on getting into your account and is using password crackers, it is hopeful it will take them long enough to get your password that you have changed it.

The world is a rough place.  Why make it harder on yourself by having to deal with hackers and scams?



Your Money or Your Life (But, Your Password Will Do)

Some time ago, I published a post in which I tried to help people create a good password.  I still think my way is an excellent one.  Of course, 12-16 digit random characters including capital, small letters, numbers, and special characters is really hard to beat.  Anyway, here is an somewhat entertaining TED talk about passwords.  It’s less than 10 minutes and may help you.  After it, I will tell you, briefly, how I have made some really good passwords.

Now, simply put, try this:

1)  Use at least 12 characters (10 in a pinch)

2) Use numbers, letters (capital and small), and special characters.

3) Don’t follow a pattern

4) Change it fairly frequently

5) Password Guardians such as Norton’s password manager can help you.

6)  Don’t ever reuse a password

7)  Never just change a letter or a number when making a new password

8) Don’t repeat passwords

Ex.  12345 is a horrible password, so is any 8 digits or 8 letters, same case  (even mixed is poor)

Strong password:  how about:  rjdhFh2$#%fSncy  (16 randoms)

You only need to be hacked once – one poor password can allow that.




Information – The More the …uh oh!

The TED clip below is 15 min long (Their usual).  The man speaking has a steep Russian accent that can be difficult to follow.  However, I think we all need to take the time to follow him (It can be done well and easily if you pay attention).  What he has to say is a very strong warning that should be heeded about information and security and our future.

I hope you watched the clip.  If you didn’t, this next part will only make a little sense and you won’t get the full impact.  What I heard on this clip was the dangerous choice that we have now in our hands concerning our informational security and other sites, especially social media sites like Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others.

The problem is furthered by the fact that we cannot totally control all that may be available online about us.  I know we think we can, but some of it we gave up long ago and the Internet never forgets.  Go Google yourself.  Use your full name, then just first and last.  Check out your parents, siblings, family.  After a bit you may find that, in spite of your efforts, other family members may have posted info that could be harmful to you.

Think of this:  I don’t post my real birthday on Facebook.  That’s just asking for it.  The first year I did it, I received several Happy Birthday notices from other users, as expected.  What I didn’t expect was for another close family member to tell all of Facebook that wasn’t my real birthday and they could not understand why I had done it wrongly.

A Google on my own name has told me a lot of info about myself and showed me what others could find.  One thing it points out is this blog’s address.  No problem. I have accepted this as being very public.  Problem is that, to the right people, this may be what they are looking for.  Think of this:  as careful as I am, my pictures are online; my full name is online; my hometown is online; my school dates are online; my relative and friends’ names are online; my job info is online.

It’s not that this is great info for anyone, but when you add to it what the guy in the clip says, it does get a little scary.  I accept that there are some dangers with being online for any reason.  I use it and try the best I can to be a low-profile, hard-to-get target for hackers and such.  I think I am.  However, that does not mean I can’t be hacked; it means I am probably not worth the trouble.  Why go after me when there are so many out there who use the same password for so many sites or who use an east-to-guess password, or who divulge a lot of personal info on Facebook?

Watch the clip.  Think about it.  Don’t worry, just think.  Start out by being more careful about what and where you go online.  Supplement that by using unique and strong passwords on sites and different ones for each site.  Next, do a little research; get your hands dirty.  Better informed is better secured.

Love you all.



Friday Fictioneers – “One if by Land, Two if by Sea, and None Ain’t So Hot Either” PG13

Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle.  Check out mine below, then the rest > HERE < Enjoy!!!

Source: PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright-Björn Rudberg Click pic for page


“One if by Land, Two if by Sea, and None Ain’t So Hot Either”

By Scott L Vannatter – 100 Words

George and the Stollepers had been at war for 32 years. He took pride in the fact his home had never been breached. The mountain wall behind and the sheer forest in front made attack difficult. He had Oldham stand sentry 1st shift and his brothers took care of the rest. They used the Paul Revere method for notification: quick and simple.

George was enjoying a fresh martini and the attentions of one Bette Marina when the rumbling started. Before he could move, George’s living room floor erupted in a mess and the digging machine, filled with the enemy, attacked.




Reset the Net – Some Info

Source: Google Image Search – permission for reuse. Click pic for page.

Well, My usual, “Five Sentence Fiction”, did not show up in my email tonight, so I will have to do that one on Saturday evening.  Instead, I thought I would give you a bit of cerebral reading (just a bit).  The following is an email I received.  I have been watching this group as they seek to help us common folk handle mass surveillance.  Not all of it is for everybody, but a lot of it should be.  If nothing else, subscribe and they send you an occasional email telling you what is going on.  It is fascinating, scary, and informative…up to you, but I feel confident they are on the level.  Any donations are free – you can get what they offer without them.

Email _________________________________________


Today is the day. The largest websites on the Internet have joined us, and we’re literally blocking dragnet government surveillance on a significant portion of the web. Now it’s your turn. If we do this right, it could be the biggest thing we’ve ever done together.

No more waiting. It’s time for each and every one of us to take the first step toward a better Internet and a better world. Politicians won’t protect our privacy. It’s up to us.

Protect yourself now —  get the Reset the Net privacy pack for your computer, accounts, phones, more: https://pack.resetthenet.org

Privacy isn’t about whether we have something to hide, it’s about our ability to be ourselves. It’s about whether or not we want to live in a world with freedom of speech. It’s about whether or not we care about the future of democracy in the world.

Privacy also isn’t only for tech geeks and geniuses. The free, open source apps that we’re suggesting in the Reset the Net privacy pack are easy enough for everyone to use. Heck, send them to your technically challenged parents. The more of us that use these tools the safer we all are, not only from the NSA, but from any government, company, or bad actor that wants to invade our privacy.

No idea where to start? No problem. Click here learn about the easy tools we’re recommending.

Today we begin the largest collective effort in human history to secure the Internet and directly interfere with dragnet spying. Reset the Net is not a single day of action — it’s a coordinated, long term effort that will actually work. It’s already workin g. Just today the pressure we’ve created pushed major sites like WordPress, Tumblr, Dropbox, Twitter, and Mozilla to take real, meaningful steps that will make suspicionless spying much tougher.

But this isn’t about them. It’s about all of us. Today is our day. It’s a day we can feel proud to be internet users, and a day that governments and companies won’t soon forget.

And, it’s only the beginning.

For the Internet,

-Evan, Tiffiniy, Holmes, and the whole FFTF team

P.S. Remember how we kicked some serious but on net neutrality? Fight for the Future is leading the charge to keep the Internet free, but we can’t do it without you. Want to support our work. Please chip in $20 today.


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