Posts Tagged ‘yahoo’

Kent’s Super-Simple, Excellent Password Advice

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

This excellent advice is simple, in fact its excellence depends upon being simple. Complicated is the enemy of security. If you follow this advice you will be among a very rare elite in how secure your passwords will be.

Four parts:

1. Write down your passwords. On real paper, with a real pen or pencil, and keep the list safe. If you want to get fancy, maybe don’t quite tell the truth, at least not the whole truth, maybe leave something off each password (something you will remember), so if someone finds the list they won’t quite know any of the passwords on the list. And keep the list safe.

2. Now that you can keep track of what your passwords are, never recycle passwords between accounts. So, if someone breaks into one site, your other accounts aren’t at risk. (Today’s news, as I write this, is information on 500,000,000 accounts were stolen from Yahoo.) Don’t reuse passwords in different places.

3. When you make up a new password, dream up something you think no one will guess. (I know, you already do that.) Now, to be extra secure, add something even you couldn’t guess. Maybe look at the time, exactly how many minutes past the hour? Include that in the password. Or look around you, pick something else—but pick something you could not anticipate—and include it as part of the password.

4. Keep this entirely manual, the whole approach is low-tech for a reason. Computers are usually pretty insecure. (Ask Yahoo…) Don’t automate any of it, because that’s really hard to do safely (ask Yahoo), keep it manual. Don’t even photocopy your password list, because copiers are really computers these days. Don’t take a picture of the list, because cameras are also computers these days. Yes, backups are good, but sorry that has to be manual. The benefit is, as long as you keep all of this manual, you can trust your common sense, because you will understand every aspect, you have real expertise manual stuff because you can see it.

That’s it. Low-tech as hell, which means most techies will hate it, but who cares that it’s controversial as hell? It’s smart. Because it is simple.


P.S. And I really am so very sorry you can’t use a password manager program, but they are just too complicated, they will have security problems, admit it, you know it in your heart they will. Don’t trust them.

Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

I saw the cover of the magazine Fast Company, and it said to lookout, Facebook will beat Amazon, Apple, and Google.

(Clever folks: There were three other covers, each touting how one of the four companies will prevail. They sort of managed to get more shelf space at Whole Foods.)

But far more interesting is the list of four companies:

  • Apple (originally a computer manufacturer),
  • Amazon (originally an online book retailer),
  • Google (originally a web search engine), and
  • Facebook (still a social network).

How do computers, books, searches, and friending end up at each others’ throats? And how did we come to ignore Dell, Barnes and Noble, Yahoo, and AOL??

Dell vs. Apple? Not interesting. (Should Dell just liquidate and give the investors their money back?)

B&N vs. Amazon? Not interesting.

Yahoo vs. Google? Not interesting.

AOL (or maybe Myspace) vs. Facebook? Not interesting.

How did these other companies become such losers? What makes these Big Four so important?


©2011 Kent Borg