Friday, March 2, 2012

Passwords and Lunch Dates

The two (passwords and lunch dates) are not related.  At least they are not related in this post.  They are two topics that are on my mind as I write this post.  I haven't posted much lately because my hand and wrist quickly exhibit signs of the carpal tunnel problem I recently had.  I have a couple of big tasks coming up in the near future and they will require me to spend quite a bit of time at this keyboard.  On to the topics . . .


I was surprised to read in a CNN story posted on Yahoo! that, "the most common password used on business systems is 'Password1'."  It is more than 8 characters in length and contains an upper case letter and a number.  It would rank as a "strong" password, but it is easily guessed by a hacker.

I am not an expert and my advice might be worth as much as you pay for it.  Nevertheless, give some thought to your passwords.  Use those caps, numbers and special characters.  Use a series of (three?) unrelated words--it will help to make up a scene or picture to remember those words.  For example, think of a house with a tree beside it and a river behind it.  A password could be "housetreeriver."  Use caps on two or three letters in the middle or end of the words.  Substitute numbers and special characters for additional security.  That word is 14 characters long, so add to it (beginning middle or end) to use a maximum length password.  It will increase the level of difficulty for a hacker to crack your password.

Any password can be cracked, and it doesn't take a super computer.  For most of us we only need to make it hard enough for a would-be intruder to leave in search of an easier target.  For example, on my online banking account with . . .  On second thought I've told you enough already.  Just tighten up your security with a better, not-easy-to-guess password and make it as many characters as you can.

Lunch Dates

Sylvia and I had lunch with our son, Bryant, yesterday.  We do that most weeks.  I really look forward to that hour (usually) with him as we eat and share family news and our activities.  Sunday evenings, we call our other son, Scott, on the phone and we chat for about an hour or so.  Those are some of the best hours in my week.

Yesterday, I mentioned to her dad, that I had called Briana (granddaughter) and had a nice chat with her.  He said, "I know.  She told me."  She would do that.  She may be on campus, but she still talks and texts with her parents.  Regularly.

Back to my story.  I follow Briana's blog and check her Facebook page most days.  I like to know what she's doing and thinking.  I had been thinking about her and had read online that she had taken her microbiology mid-term exam.

As I thought about it, I decided to pick up the phone and give her a call.  I greeted her and identified myself in Spanish.  There was a pause.  (She must have been processing this strange event.)  Then she answered in Spanish.  We talked for quite a while about what was happening here and there.

As we were about to say goodbye, Briana asked if Sylvia and I would be meeting her dad for lunch again next week.  I said, "I think so.  We usually do."  She replied, "Good!  I'm on break and I'll try to see you then."  I hope it works out for her to do exactly that.

I am very blessed.


vanilla said...

I do, I do those things you suggest. But I have to come up with new ones quite often because I can't remember them!

Adding the strength of my hopes that you do get to see Briana.

vanilla said...

Oh, then there is the account that requires exactly 13 characters, and the one that demands "between six and ten" etc, etc.


Rebecca Mecomber said...

Good advice on the passwords!

I greatly admire your familial love. I didn't have anything like it growing up, so it is all a strange and lovely fascination to me.

DogsMom said...

I use made up words as passwords. That works well enough until I begin to use those same words in conversation.
On the other hand, in most cases my accounts which are password protected (including facebook, pinterest, etc) are not strong enough in my life to hurt me. Inconvenience, perhaps, but ruin my life? No. I have real life difficulties to handle that assignment.
Sadly, the days of handling finances in person are coming to an end and I will have to accept online banking and bill pay.

I wish I did communicate with family regularly but for now I smile at a weekly text from my son: Not dead yet.
He does know that when he needs to reach me or needs someone to listen to him, we can always connect within minutes.
I guess that is a pro to technology.

Pricilla said...

Have a delightful lunch next week. I'm sure it will be lots of fun.

momto8 said...

so interesting about the passwords!
you are blessed with your lunch dates and close knit family-good for you!

Lin said...

Good ideas for the password. I have to change mine at work every so often and I struggle to think of new ones. I like the random 3 word idea. Problem is--will I remember it??

How nice that you call Briana. My in-laws only talk to Joe once a week and that is about 5 minutes...tops.

It's great that you guys have a great relationship with her!

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

What a great thing to have kids that want to talk to you! (I borrow Marie's kid- he likes to talk to me)