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8 Ways to Become a Password Guru for the Greatest Password Security

8 Ways to Become a Password Guru for the Greatest Password Security

How many times have you gone to login to a Web site, and forgotten your password? Have you gotten lazy and used the same password for all your accounts, just to make it easier, only to have an account hacked because they are all the same?

Password security is important to keep your information private and safe from prying eyes, but it can be daunting to figure out what to use for a password each time you have to create a new login I.D.. It’s time to become a password expert! Stay on top of your passwords, and make them as secure as possible.

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1. Create a “strong” password.

Some sites will actually tell you what a strong password is, or what it contains. It will commonly contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and characters. If you choose numbers, then do not put numbers in succession, such as “123,” or enter your home address. Some sites actually take an extra step to make sure you select a secure password by not allowing you to create an account unless you meet their parameters of a strong password.

2. Become Familiar With LastPass.

Why waste time having to remember all those passwords? It is not only important to create a secure password, but to be able to remember your logins so you can login easily. I recommend using a password vault like LastPass. The best part about LastPass is that it is one login you have to remember for all of your internet browsers. It also does security checks so you can see which passwords should be made more secure, or which sites have been hacked into and may be vulnerable and in need of a password change. Stay on top of your security and keep everything in one place.

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3. Choose something unique for your password.

As I warned before, it is unsafe, and unwise, to use “123,” your address, or your name as your password. Those are easy for people to guess. A nickname, or your favorite movie are good choices.

4. See this list of the top 20 worst passwords.

Some people actually just use “Password.” Really? Yes, unfortunately, really. Some people think they need to pick something easy for them to remember, but in turn are leaving themselves wide open for someone to hack into their account. Keep it complex. An eight character password versus a four character password changes the length of time it takes to decode the password from 41 days to eight years, according to CM Security. The more cryptic combination of numbers, letters, and characters make it less predictable.

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5. Change your password regularly.

Go in every month or two and reset all your passwords to add an extra measure of security.

6. Pick a different password for each account.

Don’t just pick one default password and use it for everything. You can create your own formula, but make the login for each site unique. You may have to go back in through all of the places you are logged in to do this, but it is well worth the hassle. Also, be aware that your Google account controls multiple sites like YouTube and Google Drive, and Facebook allows you to login to many other sites and applications.

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7. Test your password strength with this great tool from CM Security.

Go for a 6 star rating for the most secure password.

8. Think of a password you can memorize and customize.

To help you remember what you selected for each site – if you don’t want to use a password saving site – use something you CAN remember, and then customize it, like radio1#ebay, or radio1#facebook.

And don’t fret if you lose your password. You can always ask to reset it from whatever site you are trying to login to. The important thing is to create one from the beginning that can keep you safe online.

Featured photo credit: Locked Steel Gate by Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Bridget Baker

Web Presence Sherpa

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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