And the 25 Worst Passwords Are…

I’ve covered this before, but it’s worth repeating: using “password” as your password is not a good idea.

“Password”, “123456”, and the ever more secure “12345678” are the most used passwords of 2011 according to a recent report from security provider SlashData. Hackers love simple passwords, and it seems we’re making it easy for them. According to the report, sequential characters such as qwerty and 123456 are popular choices, as well as names of children and pets. Other choices such as “dragon” or “superman” are harder to explain, but may come from objects or images in the vicinity of the user. As websites require passwords to contain numbers and letters, it makes sense that we’re seeing abc123 and trustno1 on the list as well. Continue reading “And the 25 Worst Passwords Are…”

Twelve Easy Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy

Many people think the Internet is full of boogeymen waiting to jump them after every click.  I think this is why so many users have trouble with computers.  They don’t trust them.  They’re convinced that one mis-click will end Social Security, start a war with Brazil, and all things chocolate will turn into vanilla.

There’s a widely-held belief that computers have this much power.

The truth is, the Internet isn’t all that bad.  It’s actually the user that has all the power.  Part of the  perceived problem is caused by common sense (or the suspension of).   Something happens where a user’s inhibitions go out the window while they’re online.  It’s like their mouse is injecting tequila into their bloodstream, and after a while —   WOOHOO!!!  Anything goes!  I’ll tell anyone anything!

The other part of the perceived problem is complacency.  If you’re in your pajamas, in your office, or better yet — in your pajamas while in your office, you feel safe and secluded.  Nothing can reach you there.  You start getting lazy about update notices, stop reading things through before clicking on them…and then BAM!  You’re nailed.

Vigilance is the key.  There is no vacation from following safe practices.  Just follow these twelve steps and keep yourself out of trouble: Continue reading “Twelve Easy Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy”