Browsers and Passwords

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Browsers and PasswordsI’m gonna go all techie on you for a bit here.  Though it’s for your own good and online safety.

I just spent the last two weeks dealing with infected computers, compromised email accounts, as well as victims of online banking fraud.  The first thing I noticed in every single case, is that people in general, take so little care of their own security.  Mainly their weak passwords and the fact they never update their browsers.  Two very simple things they could do that would likely have saved them all the headaches and panic attacks that is an infected computer or having their credit card or bank account compromised.

We all use our computers for everything from playing games, to paying bills and ordering services.  Yet, a frightening number of folks don’t seem to think twice that their information is so readily available to others who are just looking for an easy opportunity to make a quick buck of off our negligence.  I really mean it’s scary how simplistic folks make their passwords and how they never think to update their browsers to keep secure.  While I do think that many of us who run our own websites can help with that.  I actually do, if your browser is out of date, my website will actually tell you and suggest you update it.  If you try to use a non-secure password when signing up for an account, my website won’t allow it.  Now only if all website owners would do the same, it would help folks across the board.

Browsers

It almost amazes me when I ask anyone to “Open a Browser”, that they haven’t the foggiest clue what I’m talking about.  A browser is the software package installed on your computer that allows you to see and interact with websites.  That is pretty much all they do, but it’s very important to keep them up to date.  It helps keep them secure from any known issues, as well as allow you to be able to fully enjoy the newer content websites have to offer.  Without these updates, you may be just handing your information over to someone just looking to make a quick buck. Also, you could be frustrated in wondering why a website isn’t behaving the way you think it should.  This would be because your old browser can’t handle the newer fancy code that makes the website you’re trying to view work properly.  Many of today’s browsers check for updates automatically, if they find one, they normally will install it.  It may or may not prompt you to restart your browser.  It’s as simple is closing the browser and re-opening it.  For more information on keeping your browser up to date can be found at these websites:  WhatBrowser.org or Browser-Update.org (my favorite) and this video:

Passwords

This is so important and it’s so sad that folks don’t take a few minutes to create a half-decent password.  What’s worse, is they use the same simple password for everything.  This is saying a thief only needs to find the key under the front door mat to steal the house, the car, the family business and clean out all bank accounts.  Making your password the name of a pet, friend or loved one is not a good idea.  Neither is using important dates or phone numbers.  They are too easily guessed.

It’s not actually hard at all to make a simple password a heck of a lot more secure by simply changing things like making it upper and lower case lettering.  Also, change a vowel to a number and use a special character.

Example: password –> P@55W0rd

I changed the letter “o” to the number zero, the “a” to an @ symbol and the “s’s” to the number 55 and capitalized the P and W.  While I would never recommend using the word password as your actual password, you should get the idea behind it.

Also, use a different password for different websites.  You don’t have to commit them to memory, you can write them down.  Just don’t store them in plain site is all.

Even this security expert in the video tells you this.

More information on making Secure Passwords by clicking HERE.

So in short, keep your browsers up to date and make your passwords secure (and keep your security software up to date as well), and you’ll only need me once in a while.  I mean sure, I like making money off anyone who isn’t a friend or relative 🙂  But for my friends and relatives (and my awesome site visitors), keep yourselves safe 🙂

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