Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Thursday Thirteen #266

Thirteen facts about passwords and security. Passwords are a part of our day-to-day lives, so let's look at how to (and how not to) create them.

1. Make them longer. The longer the password, the harder it is to remember. On the other hand, the longer the password, the harder it is for hackers. It's best to put them in the double digits.

2. Don't put your password on a sticky note on your computer. If someone steals your computer, they have your password. Duh. Yet I have a pink post-it with my work password right here.

3. Use at least a little imagination. Two of the most common passwords are 123456 and Password.

4. The keyboard should not be your guide. Qwerty and Poiuyt are also common passwords.

5. Don't be typical. Hackers report that women tend to use proper names as passwords, men tend to use hobbies.

6. Use your favorite quotes or lyrics. They are easy for you to remember, and likely hard for a stranger to guess. Example: Are you a fan of 1972's The Godfather? Try this as your password -- Imhaohcr72. "I made him an offer he couldn't refuse" is the quote, 1972 is the year the movie came out. Love Elvis? Yanbahd56 ("You ain't nothing but a hound dog," from 1956).

7. Your routine could provide your passwords. Think about things you do every day that could yield passwords. 8:10Train or Dinner@6:30 would be easy for you to remember but hard for a hacker to guess.

8. Substitute symbols for letters. You want to immortalize your childhood pup, Fido. He was a good  boy and Fidogoodboy1 is easy to remember. But making a simple change -- substituting a 0 for the o and going from Fidogoodboy1 to Fid0goodboy1 -- will slow hackers down.

9. Don't use the same password everywhere. Yeah, I do it more than I should, too.

10. Mix it up a little. Redfiretruck1 may be obvious and easy to figure out. 1Firetruckred could be tougher.

11. Combine words that may be meaningless to someone else but make sense to you. Your first boyfriend was Dan. You have no idea where he is today, but you remember he drank Coors and his house number was 950. Voila! Who but you would know the significance of Dancoors950?

12. Change your passwords regularly. Four times a year is good. Yes, that does sound like a lot of work.

13. Always log out of your online bank accounts. Don't just close the window. Log out!

Hope this helps you keep your information safe.

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.

She's a very good egg

I had dinner with Elaine last night. This represents the third time I've gone out with friends this month. To borrow a phrase from my friend Nancy, I'm finally starting to "people" again.

We had $3 margaritas at Madison Tavern. We split the spinach artichoke app and then she had a chopped salad and I had fish and chips.* I insisted on paying the bill because ...

Look what Elaine brought me and Roy Hobbs! It's a virtually new carrier that she got for her cat but it hasn't worked out. Her cat takes many, many trips to the vet and I guess he bounces around too much in there. That will not be a problem for Roy Hobbs, as he's more than 15 lbs. (far bigger than the average house cat). 

It's a hit with Roy Hobbs!
As soon as I got home, I kicked off my sandals, dropped my briefcase, plopped the new carrier down and opened it. As you can see, Roy Hobbs walked right in to check it out. This made me so happy! I had to kinda shove the big guy into the other carrier and he got a cut near his ear from the zipper. No zipper on this carrier. It's perfect for him.

But it's practically new and cost Elaine nearly $30. She drove me all the way home from Madison Tavern, even though I could have easily taken the train, because it's located in the station, but she thought the carrier and my briefcase were too much for me to handle. I laughed, because she has no idea how many bags I can drape off my person when I'm commuting, but she insisted. 

"I don't want our dinner to be rushed," she said. 

Of course she wanted to talk more about Larry. I'll never understand why people discuss their romances with me. I have the worst track record with men! But she wanted to continue to dissect her ill-fated date with Larry from our movie group, and so I listened. "I guess I'm too much for him," she concluded, and I think she's right. Elaine's a former dancer, still in great shape. She does yoga and pilates and is trying to organize us into a badminton tourney of sorts. Her last relationship -- which ended over a year ago -- was with a man 14 years her junior. Larry has a bad back and just can't keep up with Elaine in terms of energy. Plus he's still recovering his divorce,  after 30+ years of marriage his wife dumped him. 

Larry has now missed two movies. I guess he's still too embarrassed by their romantic misfire. Which is too bad because he seemed to enjoy watching and discussing the classic films ... and because he's missing out on Elaine. Even if romance isn't in the cards, they could be friends. She's a giving, generous person. She laughs easily. She's up for anything.

I feel kinda sorry for Larry.

*I'm still not ready for beef or pork, post-GI upset.