Thursday, September 18, 2014

Are Your Passwords Protecting You?

A strong password is your first line of defense against intruders and imposters…

The more sites you’re signed up to, the more likely you are going to rely on the same few passwords to access them.  That’s a lot of sites and a lot of ways for someone to access your account information if they discover any of your passwords.  What you don’t want to happen is a domino effect, where cracking one account means that you can access all of them.

Creating a unique password for every site you’ve signed up to is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself.

Create passwords that are easy to remember but hard for thieves to crack.
Include numbers, capital letters and symbols.  Use a $ instead of an S or a 1 instead of an L.  $1ngle is NOT a good password, hackers
are onto this one, but you could come up with a phrase such as (My 1st child Luke was born in 2001) and use the initial of each word like this M1cLwbi2001 or (My friend Sue is a very nice girl) Mf$1avng.  These are excellent passwords.

Longer passwords take more time to crack so the longer you can make it, the better by combining words or characters that you can remember.  Don't use dictionary words. If it’s in the dictionary, there is a chance someone will guess it. There’s even software that criminals use that can guess words used in dictionaries.

Consider using a password manager to add an extra layer to your password protection.  Services such as RoboForm (Windows only) or Lastpass (Windows and Mac) let you create a unique very strong password for each of your sites.  As well as remembering and storing them in your Web browser, it ensures that all your accounts are protected and only requires you to use the one master password to access them.

Password combinations tested using

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Apple Introduces iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus…

"Today we are launching the biggest advancement in the history of iPhone," declared Apple CEO, Tim Cook yesterday.  Apple unveiled two new versions of its top selling product, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.  Both smartphones will run on Apple’s latest operating software, the ios8, which Apple claims is 25 percent faster than previous models.  The iPhone 6 will be available at a starting price of $199 for the 16 GB version, goes up to $399 for the 128 GB version.  The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for 16 GB, $399 for 64 GB and $499 for 128GB.

Both smartphones come with Retina HD displays and ion-strengthened glass which curves around the side of the phones, meeting the anodized aluminum backing.  In response to consumer preference for bigger screens, the iPhone 6 sports a 4.7 inch screen whereas, the iPhone 6 Plus comes with a larger 5.5 inch display.  Both have thinner frames than earlier models with the iPhone 6 at 6.9 mm thin and the iPhone 6 Plus at 7.1 mm thin.

The new iPhone’s A8 64-bit processor runs 25 percent faster than the chips in previous models, and come with a new motion processor for fitness and health-related applications.   While Apple claims that iPhone 6 Plus has 24 hours of 3G talk time, the iPhone 6 is said to have 14 hours of 3G talk time.  The two new iPhones also have better battery life including 50 hours of audio playback and 11 hours of video watching for the iPhone 6.  Both phones have an 8MP camera with 'True-tone flash', 1.5 micron pixels with an iSight sensor for stabilization.  The iPhones are available in three colors gold, silver, and space gray.

Apple also unveiled the first modern smartwatch, which will launch early next year, starting at $349.  The Apple Watch requires the iPhone to use and is primarily tied to fitness activity.  The company also announced Apple Pay, a mobile payments service that uses near-field communications technology.  Apple Pay enables consumers to make payments with participating outlets with a swipe of an iPhone or an Apple Watch. Cook claims the system is more secure than credit cards, which have come under increasing attack by hackers in recent months.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

More Americans Using Smartphones as Primary Source of Internet

The rising trend shows that a majority of Americans are using their smartphones to access the Internet.  The Pew Research Center survey found 63 percent of mobile phone owners now use their smartphone to go online.   According to a recent study conducted by Google, the number of people with an internet-capable mobile device has surpassed that of desktop or laptop computer owners.

Smartphones are becoming more and more powerful, and today's cutting-edge models are well capable of doing most of the tasks that one would usually perform on a desktop or a laptop computer – surfing the web, accessing social networks, watching HD video, and much more.  At the same time, the advancement of wireless networks has brought true broadband speeds to our mobile devices, with some smartphones well capable of reaching real life data transfer rates between 10 and 20 megabits per second.