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.

BIGGEST News from Apple may not be about a iPhone, iPad, or a Mac computer…

…The biggest (at least recent) news might be about Apple Carekit. It was announced on May 21st in a press release, “Apple Advances Health Apps with CareKit: New Software Framework Helps Developers Empower People to Take a More Active Role in their Health“.  This is really exciting news for healthcare as well as for app and hardware developers.

CareKit will be released as an open source framework next month (April 2016) allowing the developer community to continue building on the first four modules designed by Apple.

The second part of this article from Tech50Plus.com talks about Carekit.

Wired.com suggest that ‘Apple’s CareKit Is the Best Argument Yet for Strong Encryption

 

Are you a ‘SLACK’er? Not yet? Maybe it’s time to become one. : )




Slack is considered to be ‘Team communication for the 21st century’. THAT ‘team’ may be at work, at school or it may be just friends or family.

Slack is a messaging system which has some similarities to Facebook Messenger or Google+ but it is much more useful.

Add in ScreenHero and you have one incredible tool providing voice, video and screen sharing features!

Here is a brief video that will give you an overview –

Some key features:

  • You can organize your team’s conversations in channels – one for a project, one about a topic, or anything. Everyone will be able to see what’s going on.”
  • You can create ‘private channels’ and invite only a few team members. Everything on the channel will be kept private among that team and in that channel.
  • You can ‘direct message’ a team member directly privately and securely.”
  • You can use your browser, use an App on a PC or Mac desktop, or use a mobile app.
  • You can easily upload files to Slack to securely share them with a colleague, a channel, or a group.
  • You can set a ‘Do Not Disturb

Mentioned earlier, ScreenHero adds a really cool feature! You and another person can share computer screens – I can show you mine and you can show me yours. This is a great tool that can be used for effective ‘Desk Help’, troubleshooting, or for teaching computer skills to another or to each other.

“Slack is a team communication tool that’s not just powerful and easy to use, it’s actually fun.”

Learn more about ‘Slack’ and become a ‘Slack’er!

The SLACK Website

25 Weird & Wonderful Slack Integrations You Need to Try 




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!”