Technology Advisor Blog

Is your password 123456? Time to increase your security!

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 2/17/11 9:00 AM

Password KeyboardWell over a year ago there was a major security breach at a site called RockYou.com.   One of the interesting outcomes is that the breach offered the opportunity to analyze password behaviors since over 32 million passwords were revealed.

Here is the top 20 list and if you see any of your passwords on this list, its a good time to think about using stronger passwords!

  1. 123456
  2. 12345
  3. 123456789
  4. Password
  5. iloveyou
  6. princess
  7. rockyou
  8. 1234567
  9. 12345678
  10. abc123
  11. Nicole
  12. Daniel
  13. babygirl
  14. monkey
  15. Jessica
  16. Lovely
  17. michael
  18. Asley
  19. 654321
  20. Qwerty

Strong passwords should include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.  Your computer security starts with the strength of your passwords, so don't use something that's easy to guess or easy to automatically generate (like a keyboard string or word in the dictionary).

Tags: Security, password, 123456, popular passwords

Tech Time Saver - Keybreeze

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 2/7/11 12:53 PM

Here's a cool tech tool we recommend for saving time on your computer - Keybreeze.  Keybreeze is basically a way to create short cuts to access files, applications, and web sites.

With Keybreeze, hit the semicolon key to call up the program and just type in a few characters to get to your shortcut.  You can open files, programs, and web sites, create notes and reminders, search your computer, and perform system tasks.  If you find that you access certain things over and over again, this will save you time. 

Keybreeze

The application is open source so there is no cost for the license, but the developers ask for a donation (which is customary for open source applications). 

 

Tags: computer time saver, small business technology advice.

Cool Tech Tool - Join.me for Instant Meetings on-line

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 2/4/11 1:42 PM

Join.me is a great new application from the folks at LogMeIn for screen sharing.  If you're working on a project and you need to collaborate on a document, or if you want to do a presentation over the web, this is a VERY easy to use product.  The free version has a lot of features and its probably all you need to get started.

Starting a screen sharing session is simple.  You'll get a 9 digit code that you can email to your participants, and you'll be connected almost instantly.  There's also a free conference line you can use for your meeting (its not a toll-free number, but there is no extra charge for the conference connection).  You can also communicate by chat.

I installed Join.me recently to test it was was amazed at how simple it is.  If you want to get the "pro" features - meeting scheduler, custom link, meeting lock out, the cost is $29.95/month - still a very good deal.

Developing technology that's easy to use is actually very difficult, and Join.me is impressive - give it a try!

Tags: join.me, Internet meeting, file sharing

Small Business Productivity/Security Recommendation - RoboForm

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 2/2/11 9:55 AM

With so many business and personal activities on-line these days, it's impossible to remember all the passwords.  We've all been trained to use "strong" passwords (6 characters or more, not a word in the dictionary, numbers & symbols), but remembering them is a big problem.

One of the productivity tools we like to recommend is RoboForm (www.roboform.com).  The slogan on their home page sums things up - "Put your passwords on speed-dial".  RoboForm automatically remembers your passwords, stores them securely, and then fills them in when needed, kind of like using a browser bookmark. 

When trying to remember complicated passwords, employees are often tempted to write them down and keep them in a convenient location, but this isn't secure.  In fact, the new Massachusetts Data Protection Law specifically addresses the storage of passwords by requiring:  "control of data security passwords to ensure that such passwords are kept in a location and/or format that does not compromise the security of the data they protect".  Bottom line, no more passwords on post-its under your keyboard! 

There's an entry-level free version of the program available, so this may be a great place to start and check it out.  Here is a link to the product comparison chart: http://www.roboform.com/how-it-works/product-comparison.

Tags: small business technology, Security, passwords

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