Technical opinions, advise, tips and projects I’m working on.

In today’s cyber world security is a must have, however, many go oblivious to their lack there of or believe in principles that are ineffective. With more reliance on the digital world now than ever before, one needs to be proactive with security to prevent being a victim of the next cyber hack attack or at a minimum mitigate the damages.

While some think that passwords must be complex and include uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols to be effective this obscurification adds little if any security to the password. Today’s computers can now easily do the substitution of ‘@’ for ‘a’ or ‘$’ for ‘s’ while adding little time to the cracking attempts. It’s length that makes a password more secure. XKCD does good at graphically explaining this concept for creating long memorable passwords.

Password Strength

Another problem is the use of the same password for more than one site. With the difficulty in remembering passwords it’s not uncommon to use the same or slightly varied versions of a password across all sites, but this introduces the security risk that if one account is compromised then all your accounts are vulnerable to attack. Even though you may have picked one secure password you do not know how other companies and sites store that data. If the password was stored in a database as plain text or un-salted hash then an attacker could compromise accounts quickly should that database ever be hacked.

For the best security all sites should have their own password that is unique, randomly generated, greater than 14 characters, including your traditional upper, lower, number and symbol requirements. Websites should have password like  ‘&AuGwW7ML&sBJ6Ga;Jr2hBdah’ or ‘rx97QMYE+Jgf6o9%~jtsL7o;t’ for maximum security. But who could remember that?

A simple solution to managing secure passwords is the use of a password manager. This allows for only having to remember one strong password, like described in the XKCD picture, and increases security by using randomly generated passwords for every site. There are many password managers to chose from on the market. This LifeHacker article explains a the features of a bunch and Part 2 of this topic will include which I chose to use and why.

Do you use an Android device for office productivity or just copy and paste a lot of data? Perhaps you want to copy something on one device and paste it on another or just later on paste something you had previously copied.

A clipboard manager could prove to be a useful utility. Clipper Plus with Sync offers clipboard management features like history, ability to edit or clear the clipboard, save commonly pasted strings to snippets that can easily be copied onto the clipboard with a single tap. When the sync plugin is installed the clipboard syncs between devices and can also be accessed via ClipperSync website enabling copying over to computers.

Clipper Plus with Sync and the Sync Plugin can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for a small fee, or there is just Clipper,a limited free version that works without sync and has a max history of 20 clippings.

Have you ever been away from your computer and realized you need a file on it? Or perhaps access to a program you can’t run on a mobile device?

Remote Access provides a great solution allowing for you to access and control your computer from another computer or mobile device. There are many products and companies offering remote access services like TeamViewer, LogMeIn, GoToMyPC to name a few. Only caveat is you must leave your computer on with an Internet connection to access it.

Personally I recommend TeamViewer for its ease of installation and configuration. Additionally it is free for personal use and provides a method for requesting the remote assistance of others as an added bonus.

Well after being bugged for a while by a specific raccoon to get a blog setup I have finally done so. First attempt was with a host provided click and build site, but soon after making it realized I had no control over the DB and scrapped that. The next option was to create a mySQL DB that I was in control of in my hosting package and manually install WordPress. Took all of about 10 minutes. Spent about another 30 minutes trying to find a theme that worked for me which I still need to finish customizing.

While poking around for extra features like the share buttons I learned those are not installed by default. To access those you must first install the Jetpack plugin and then connect it with a WordPress account. (Something I am still working on doing and getting setup)

The hardest part of the whole ordeal was actually picking out a domain name that was not already taken. While it’s not my first or second choice it will work. After hours of searching, I’m not sure I could come up with anything better.

Stay tuned for more from the crazy fox here!