Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Tag

Password Importance

Password Security

I’ve been in the technology industry for quite some time and it never ceases to amaze me how people so easily give out their passwords and those passwords are weak and personal.  Access to your computer and online activities should be treated like your debit card’s PIN number or your wallet, both of which you don’t give out to just anyone.  Here are a few rules to live by when creating your passwords.

Rule 1. Never give out your password! It doesn’t matter if you trust your IT department, tech guy, or your friends or co-workers, just don’t do it. Relationships change and sometimes not always for the better. Think of it this way, if you wouldn’t give your wallet to a person, then don’t give them your password. If you must give out your password for a troubleshooting issue, change your password immediately after the work has been completed.

Rule 2. Use a strong password. A strong password should have several components, upper and lower case letters, numbers, and if possible symbols. One of the best ways to create a strong and complex password that you will remember is the “Phrase Password.” You create a phase like “Did you do it? Yes, one hour ago” which translates to Dudi?Y1ha. Not every website or online service allows the use of symbols in passwords, so make your passwords stronger and longer with more alphanumeric characters.

Rule 3. Separate yourself from your password.  Don’t use your spouse’s name or your child’s birthday. It’s easy to remember but if you talk about your spouse or your children online, then you are putting that information out there for the hackers to see and use.  No need to make things easy for the bad guy.

Rule 4. Make your passwords longer than eight characters. The longer and more complex the password is, the harder it is to hack. Often people will get lazy and use the shortest password possible, like 12345 or their favorite curse word. These passwords are easy to guess and hackers can brute-force or crack the code using software with little trouble at all.

Rule 5. Never use the same password for multiple online accounts. I’ve seen it many times; someone uses the same password for Facebook, Twitter, email, and a host of other online services. Mix it up, have a few phrase passwords to use and change them often. If you forget the phrase or password, use a password managing software, such as KeePass which can also generate strong, complex passwords.

Rule 6. Change your password often. Set a schedule to change your passwords and hold to it. Yes, it’s a pain to change all your passwords, but it’s easier than rebuilding your credit after your identity has been stolen or trying to get control of your Facebook account while some hacker is posting porn to your Facebook friends. In most cases, you can get by with only having to change your passwords once every three months unless you are a heavy online services user then once a month might be better.

Computers and the Internet are wonderful tools and they can be fun but be smart.  Don’t make it easy for anyone to gain access to your files, online accounts, and your personal lives.

Microsoft’s Password Checker – Check the strength of your password.

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The New Face of Twitter

I must say I love Twitter. I have a few accounts, personal, professional, and of course, our @TecWhat account, which I hope you are following. I use is daily to connect with friends and family as well as promoting TecWhat.  I follow the best people I know on Twitter and have made some really great friends.  You can often say just what you need in 140 characters.

In the past year, Twitter has been doing a lot of re-vamping of their site including better integration of photos.  Some of their upgrades have been a little disappointing and alarming for its users, but all that has changed.

Today, Twitter released a totally new layout for both the web and mobile phones. The new look and feel is quite different from what we’re all use to seeing, but in moments you should feel right at home.  So what’s changed? Just about everything, from the logon to the menu to the way you navigate the site.  The design looks cleaner and more thought out, placing everything in framed sections that allow for better and easier viewing.  It’s almost as if Steve Jobs had a hand in the renovation.

The Home page is distinctly different. The information side bar is now on the left side of the page topped with your immediate stats followed by “Who to Follow” and “Trends.”  A cool new feature is the pop-up that shows when you select someone. In the old version it would be a side-out that covered everything on the information on the right side bar.  Now, the pop-up gives you all the same info without covering up your side-bar.  The column of tweets gives you more information as well, such as “In reply to @Someone” instead of just the “Retweeted by @Someone”

The @Connect page is a little different too giving you the options to easily choose Interactions or Mentions right at the top.  The #Discover page gives you Stories and Activity. Both give you Who to Follow and Trends.

Viewing you own profile is better too.  It’s a clean feel unlike the busy page of Facebook. This is more Google+ inspired, Web2.0.  Information is readily and easily available in menus that right there instead of the clunky underlined links of past versions.

Basically, the only thing that hasn’t changed is the Settings page. It remains the same, useful and functional.

If you aren’t using Twitter or you’ve left for any reason, go have a look-see at the new design. Twitter is working hard to give you the best experience possible and they’re getting really close to it. If you’re already there, then enjoy the new design and let me know what you think!

Posted December 8, 2011 by Scott in Social Media

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