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Making Quick Choices to Manage Time Better

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Making Quick Choices to Manage Time Better
Choices

    One aspect of life that eats into the time that we may have scheduled for other tasks is the process of decision making. Some of these decisions are small and trivial and have minimal effect on our lives and some of them are big decisions that have a bigger role to play in the larger perspective of life. Whether small or big, each of these decisions takes time and mind power to evaluate and process. One faces these myriad of choices at every step in a day. We face options as soon as we wake up. Should you relax in the bed for a few more minutes or should you get up immediately? More options once you are out of the bed. Should you have cereal for breakfast or an egg? Once you are on the road, you need to decide whether to take your normal route or take a detour and pick up your dry cleaned clothes on the way to work? At work, obviously there are thousands of work related decisions that one needs to make.

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    You will realize that some of these smaller decisions come extremely naturally to you. This happens because you have been doing certain things as part of your routine and they become a part and parcel of your life. You also know that these decisions will not have a major impact on your life and therefore are able to decide fast.

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    But what about the other decisions that you may think are more critical? Should you take up the new job offer? Should you speak to your boss and ask him for a more competitive job profile? Should you marry this guy? All these decisions have the potential to change the course of your life in a dramatic manner, which is why we tend to spend too much time delving over the various options that we have. The information over load at times makes things worse and does not help us by providing us with options galore. The millions of possibilities confuse us and do not aid us in decision making.

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    As we grow older, we feel that the number of decisions that we need to take seems to be increasing day by day. The reason why it happens is because as we grow, we tend to take more and more responsibilities and thus are expected to make more and more decisions at every step.

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    What we need to do in order to make decisions within our schedule of things is to ensure that we are not fickle minded and have a process by which we eliminate options that are not apt. Once the elimination process is complete, we have a lesser number of options to review. Then we can list down the pros and cons of these options and take a call. It is only natural that each option will have some cons attached to it and if we delve too much on them and do not take any decision, we will just ensure that time passes by without any action. The thing to do is to accept the cons of the option that seems best, decide and move to the next stage.

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    This option of evaluation should be done for decisions that have an impact in our life. Taking so long to make decisions that have minimal impact will be wastage of time. So don’t be fickle minded, evaluate options methodically and get to the action stage because action is what will get you results. The path is only as important as you want it to be and there are various paths that will lead to the same goal. So make your choice fast and act!

    Vishal P. Rao share his insights and tips on holistic living at Relishing Life.

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    Last Updated on November 25, 2021

    Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

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    Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

    With all of the recent online services and companies falling under attack to hackers in the past few months, it seems only fitting to talk about password creation and management. There are a lot of resources out there discussing this, but it never hurts to revisit this topic time and again because of its importance.

    Password management isn’t necessarily a difficult thing to do, yet it does seem like a bit of an annoyance to most people. When it comes to password management, you will hear the famous line, “I don’t really care about changing my passwords regularly. I have nothing important online anyways.” Let’s see if you have nothing important online when your PayPal account gets taken over because you thought the password “password” was good enough.

    In my opinion, it is an “internet user’s” responsibility to make sure that they keep secure passwords and update them on a regular basis. In this article we will discuss how to make your online presence more secure and keep it secure.

    The easy fundamentals

    First thing is first; creating a strong password.

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    A strong password is a mixture of alpha-numeric characters and symbols, has a good length (hopefully 15 characters or longer), and doesn’t necessarily represent some word or phrase. If the service you are signing up for doesn’t allow passwords over a certain length, like 8 characters, always use the maximum length.

    Here are some examples of strong passwords:
    * i1?,2,2\1′(:-%Y
    * ZQ5t0466VC44PmJ
    * mp]K{ dCFKVplGe]PBm1mKdinLSOoa (30 characters)

    And not so good examples
    * sammy1234
    * password123
    * christopher

    You can check out PC Tools Password Generator here. This is a great way to make up some very strong passwords. Of course the more random passwords are harder to remember, but that is where password management comes into play.

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    Managing your passwords

    I know some people that keep their passwords in an unencrypted text file. That’s not a good idea. I suppose that if you aren’t doing much online and are decent at avoiding viruses and such, it could be OK, but I would never recommend it.

    So, where do you keep your strong passwords for all the services that you visit on a daily basis?

    There are a ton of password safes out there including KeePass, RoboForm, Passpack, Password Safe, LastPass, and 1Password. If and when I recommend any of these I always count on LastPass and 1Password.

    Both LastPass and 1Password offer different entry types for online services logins (PayPal, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, etc.), credit cards and bank accounts, online identities, and other types of sensitive information. Both have excellent reviews and only differ in a few subtle ways. One of the ways that is more notable is that LastPass keeps your encrypted password Vault online where 1Password allows you to keep it locally or shared through Dropbox. Either way, you are the holder of the encryption keys and both ways are very secure.

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    LastPass and 1Password both offer cross-platform support as well as support for Android and iOS (LastPass even has BlackBerry support). 1Password is a little pricey ($39.99 for either Windows or Mac) where LastPass has free options as well as premium upgrades that allow for mobile syncing.

    Upkeep

    You should probably change your passwords for your “important” accounts at least every 6 weeks. When I say “important” accounts I am referring to ones that you just couldn’t imagine losing access to. For me that would be Gmail, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, all my FTP accounts and hosting accounts, Namecheap, etc. Basically these include any account where financial information could be lost or accessed as well as accounts that could be totally screwed up (like my webserver).

    There is no hard and fast rule to how often you should change your passwords, but 6 to 8 weeks should be pretty good.

    Alternatives

    You may think that all of this is just too much to manage on a daily basis. I will admit it is kind of annoying to have to change your passwords and use a password manager on a daily basis. For those people out there that don’t want to go through all of the hub-bub of super-secure, encrypted, password management, here are a few tips to keep you safe:

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    1. Create a unique and hard to guess “base password” and then a pattern to use for each site you logon onto. For instance a base password could be “Ih2BaSwAa” (this stands for “I have two brothers and sisters who are annoying”). Then you would add something “site specific” to the end of it. For Twitter Ih2BaSwAaTWTTR, Facebook Ih2BaSwAaFCBK, etc. This is sort of unsecure, but probably more secure than 99% of the passwords out there.
    2. Don’t write your passwords down in public places. If you want to keep track of passwords on something written, keep it on you at least. The problem is that if you get your wallet stolen you are still out of luck.
    3. Don’t use the same passwords for every service. I’m not even going to explain this; just don’t do it.

    These are just a few things that can be done rather than keeping your passwords in a management system. Personally, with over 100 entries in my password management system, I couldn’t even dream of doing any other way. But those out there with only a few passwords, having a simpler system may be beneficial.

    So, if you want to be a “responsible internet citizen” or you just don’t want to lose your precious account data, then creating and maintaining strong passwords for your online accounts is a must.

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