Archive for December, 2016

Password Security

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Password SecurityMost everyone is always asking themselves, why should I have a different password for each site I go to? We all know very well it is nearly impossible to keep track of all your usernames and passwords for all of your sites, unless you use the same one. It is definitely a security issue by using the same password for all of the websites you go to.  Most people try to use the same username for all the sites they go to, which means if someone does get your password for one site, then they could probably guess your codes for another site.

Ok, so why should it be complicated? Well, if it is someone you know they might guess your password because of the things you like. Otherwise, if a website or your computer is hacked there are different attacks out there such as brute force attacks, dictionary attacks and more. This software can try hundreds or thousands of passwords in a very short time until it finds the correct password and gets logged in.  Well, now they know that password and your username.  Even very secure sites can be hacked.

You can slow down, or eliminate the chances of your password being hacked by following a few simple steps:

  1. Use at least 8 characters (the more the better)
  2. Use at least 1 Uppercase letter
  3. Use at least 1 lowercase letter
  4. Use numbers
  5. Use symbols (ex: !@#$%^&*)
    1. Be aware that some sites may not allow all symbols, and many have hints on what to use for their passwords strengths.

Of course, there is no 100% way to keep your passwords secure with all the new technology and the time some of the hackers have on their hands.  It is also a good idea to change your passwords every month or two as well. This way if someone does figure out your password in that time, they will have to figure it out again – and as long as you are using complicated passwords, they would have a harder time guessing it.  If you are not sure what to use for a password, I really like this site http://passwordsgenerator.net. You can let it come up with a secure password and copy/paste it to where you want it, but you probably are not going to memorize those passwords. You could write them down in an address book, recipe cards or something – just be certain to keep them in a safe place so no-one else has access to them.

Couple of other suggestions

  • Do
    • Use complicated passwords
    • Use a different password for each site
    • Use different usernames for each site
  • Don’t
    • Write the password on your desk (if you write it down, put it in a safe)
    • Keep the password in your wallet
    • Let the browser memorize your password
    • Use simple passwords such as your name, “password”, “abc123”, etc

Final reminder on things as well related to security: Never give your password or social security number out in any emails or on the phone – even if they are asking for your password they will never call you. Microsoft, IRS, etc will never call you, so if someone calls asking for that information don’t give it out on the phone.

Talking Pop-ups In Your Browser

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Hello, Readers!

Today, I would like to talk about misleading internet pop-ups. You know the ones. The advertisement pops up, tells you that you have a virus, even talks to you (spooky)! You may panic and try to close the ad, but to no avail. It may even tell you to call the number you see on your screen (it is advised that you do not call that number). Well, there is light at the end of this tunnel!

delete_hard_drive_popupWe recommend that you power your computer off, but not in the normal way. Hold your power button down until the computer turns off (anywhere from 5 to 15 seconds). Afterwards, wait about 10 seconds, and turn the computer back on. Now, you should be able to use your computer normally. If that does not work, feel free to give us a call to determine if the issue is more serious.

This weeks Tech Tip: In most web browsers, if you accidentally close a tab, press Ctrl+Shift+T, and that browser tab will come back, and if you keep pressing that key combo the others will also come back as long as there is a history.

Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more technology briefs and Tech Tips from Cold Snap Technology!