How can I create and remember secure passwords?

I changed all my passwords to 'Incorrect'...

It seems like everyday we are hearing of some Website has been hacked and oftentimes personal information and passwords have been compromised.  ‘Knock on wood’, I’ve never had a problem with my passwords. I currently use LastPass.com which I like a lot and it has really helped me.  I currently use a system that is very easy to remember for each Website. It includes all of the following in this order:

  • the date of my wedding anniversary
  • the year of a favorite childhood year (the year my father and I flew to a a professional baseball game)
  • two or three letters representing the Website syllables. The first letter is capitalized. Example: for Facebook I might use ‘Fb’. For THIS Website, I might use ‘Pct’.’
  • @
  • a time that you can remember. Example: 5:00
  • Example (none of this is actually part of my passwords)  031579Fb@500

USA Today posted an article today about creating and using passwords, ‘Password tips you’ve never heard‘. The content of the video and the text are actually different and I recommend you watch the video as well as read the article.

Here is another article from Wired.com that offers excellent advice – 7 Password Experts on How to Lock Down Your Online Security.

After reading the Wired article above, I am going to start beef up my passwords by inserting a word into my password in between the two letters or something like that.

Click here for the Worst Passwords of 2015.

‘Google Keep’ – the Google product you haven’t used, but that you might really like

I am a Google Drive POWER USER and love most all of their applications including Google Sites, Google Slides, etc.  That is why it is surprising that I had never used ‘Google Keep’ before – until today.

Google Keep (source: Google.com/keep)(Image source: Google.com/Keep)

It has similarities to Evernote, to Mac’s ‘Notes’, and other programs, but better! You can use it to jot down notes, to make shopping lists, to make reminders, to save information from Websites, and more.

When you save something in the ‘Google Keep‘ app for iPhone or Android OR via the Chrome browser extension it syncs to the other devices. You can also add it as an app on your desktop or Mac dock (I haven’t figured out how to change from one email address on the desktop version yet.)

Keep has excellent voice recognition for recording audio notes.

It is very easy to save the things you ‘keep’ to Google Docs.

You can ‘tag’ items under categories such as: News, Inspiration, Music, Tasks, Lists, Websites, etc. You can then look at only items with the ‘tag’ that you select.

Here is a video that shows the BASICS (there is so much more you can do with Keep using its Apps and Chrome browser extension)

A feature I particularly like is the ability to ‘grab text from an image’ so you can use it in a word processor, etc. In other words, if you save an image to ‘Keep’ then you request ‘Keep’ to copy and paste the words from an image for you to use later. Click here for a ‘screen recording’ of me ‘grabbing the text’ from a Dr. Seuss image. (Sorry – no audio, just video)

Keep – grab text from image


Here are some articles on how to get more from ‘Keep’:




Windows Users Beware…

I’m starting to see this warning pretty frequently and from reputable sources. The U.S. Government is recommending that you uninstall QuickTime for Windows immediately.

Here is an article from PC World, “Uninstall now! Apple abandons QuickTime for Windows despite lingering critical flaws: Apple is giving up on QuickTime for Windows and another article from Ubergizmo.com

Here’s how you uninstall or change a program in Windows (source: microsoft)

  1. Open Programs and Features by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Programs, and then clickingPrograms and Features.

  2. Select a program, and then click Uninstall. Some programs include the option to change or repair the program in addition to uninstalling it, but many simply offer the option to uninstall. To change a program, click Change or Repair. Administrator permission required If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

If you need help, email me or call me.

QuickTime (source: Wikipedia)

QuickTime (source: Wikipedia)

Have You Filed your Taxes Yet? You may have longer AND more options than you thought.

Filing Taxes Online - Flickr

Filing Taxes Online – Flickr

Did you know that Taxes are to be filed for 2015 tax year by Monday, April 18th, rather than the traditional April 15th. Here is the reason:

Emancipation Day is an official public holiday in the District of Columbia. It usually falls on April 16, but when April 16 is a Saturday – which it is in 2016 – then Emancipation Day moves to the previous day (Friday). (Source: IRS.gov )

TheFiscalTimes.com lists ’10 Important Tax Dates for 2016′. 


 

It used to be that you had two options – use a tax preparer OR use tax software. Before that you either used a tax preparer OR you wrote down your taxes on forms you picked up from the library or post office.

Now you have all kinds of options! You can still use a tax preparer (a CPA, an accountant, H&R Block, Jackson Hewett, Liberty Tax Service, etc.) OR you can…

I’ve used H&R Block Tax preparation service and have been pleased with the service. For one thing, it helps to have someone working with you rather than you feel all alone in the process. The price for a service can be steep though.

I’ve also used both online and software versions (mostly TurboTax). Each year they seem to get better and better and easier and easier. I’ve actually used the software the same year that I’ve used a service and the results of both were very similar.

I have not used APPS and probably won’t but if someone has very easy taxes, it might work out great.


 

Security, of course, is an issue with any of the choices but what are you going to do. It seems to me the risk is about the same with all the choices, although the risk in each is different.


 

Good luck on those taxes! YOU CAN DO IT!

Protect your Computer from Malware

Ran across a video from The Federal Trade Commission posted a YouTube video on preventing malware. The description is…

Malware is short for “malicious software.” It includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer or mobile device without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. Learn more about how to avoid, detect, and get rid of malware. Learn more at http://goo.gl/6gfhIh

Every computer needs to be protected from viciuos malware. Here are some good tools…

Now, “On with the show!”