Password Security I – Creating Passwords

August 7, 2010

You will be surprised, or maybe even terrified, when you consider how much information can be accessed if somebody knows your password.

Consider this: if you use one email account frequently, is very likely that you’ve used that email to open accounts on other online services (like  facebook, myspace or youtube). The person that access your email, then can reset your other passwords and basically stole your identity

The best way to protect your information is by using a strong password.

Here are some recommendations to create a strong password.

  1. Your password should be at least 8 characters long.
  2. Do not use your user name, real name, or company name.
  3. Don’t use information that can be known by strangers.
    Using your pet’s name or birthday as a password is a very bad idea. Places like Facebook can give almost anybody tons of information they can try to use to hack your passwords.
  4. Always try to use a combination of letters and numbers.
    An easy way to do this is by replacing certain letters for numbers, usually you can change an “l” for a “1″, an “o” for a “0″, an “a” for a “4″,  an “e” for a “3″,  an “s” for a “5″ and a “b” for an “8″. For example say that you would like to use this method with this word: “smith”,  you will have “5m1th”. Visually is easy to remember and also harder to hack.
  5. Try not to use the same password for all your accounts. If possible use completely different password for all your accounts.
    An easy way to do it is to have a “base” password and then you can just add a word that describes where are you using it at the end of it. Using the same example that we used before, say we have an email account in hotmail and also an Online Banking account in Bank of America, we can use “5m1th” as our base password, and then add “hotmail” or “bofa” to personalize it. So at the end we will have our hotmail passwod as: “5m1thhotmail” and our Bank of America password as “5m1thbofa”. You can even try replacing letters by numbers to the second word, then you will have “5m1thh0tm41l” and “5m1th80f4″ making it much more strong.

If you want to know how secure is the password you’re currently using, I recommend this sites:

Microsoft Online Safety

and also this one

The Password Meter

I like this one better because it tells you the strengths and weaknesses of your password.


Basic Virus protection tips

August 6, 2010

Here are some basic tips to prevent a virus infection.
  1. Do not open any files attached to an email from an unknown, suspicious, or untrustworthy source.
  2. Do not open any files attached to an email unless you know what it is, even if it appears to come from a friend or someone you know. Some viruses can replicate themselves and spread through email.
  3. Do not open any files attached to an email if the subject line is questionable or unexpected.
  4. Delete chain emails and junk email. Do not forward or reply to any of them.
  5. Do not download any files from an unknown, suspicious, or untrustworthy source.

We will be posting more about how to prevent an infection and what to do if  your computer has a virus.

If you think you’re infected with a virus and/or spyware, let us know. We can help.