Inside the brain of a Geek: Are you rolling the dice with your password security?

I recently read an article about how a Mother uses a password methodology called Diceware to teach her young children (ages 6 and 9) how to generate secure passwords. Full article link is below and would be an excellent resource for anyone but especially parents.


“We began by using a password methodology known as Diceware, which produces passwords that are easy to remember but hard for hackers to crack. Diceware is deceptively simple: You roll a six-sided die five times and use the results to pick five random words from the Diceware word list, which contains 7,776 short English words. The resulting passwords look something like this: "alger klm curry blond puck."


After reading the article, I decided to try Diceware myself.

1.    Find 5 dice. Found 39 (Don’t know why we have that many)

2.    Open word list - http://world.std.com/~reinhold/diceware.wordlist.asc

3.    Hit Ctrl + F to open the find feature in your browser.  Makes the process much faster.


4.    Roll the dice.

  1. 41164
  2. 51661
  3. 16226
  4. 42116
  5. 31253

5.    Use the browser’s find feature to type in the numbers and find the random word.

6.    New Password “lp riggs cask me glade”

7.    Check Password with GRC Password Haystack.  Time required to exhaustively search this password’s space is 2.94 hundred trillion trillion centuries. 


My conclusion, it is a fun and easy way to generate secure passwords that are easy to remember. I’m all for anything that gets everyone using secure passwords. Plus “lp riggs cask me glade” is easier to remember for most than “zy?mzykp4^2<C8BV!Gg&^”.


If your password requires a number or symbol go to the Diceware website listed below and they provide instructions for randomly generating those with the dice.


Resources:

Diceware http://world.std.com/~reinhold/diceware.html

Diceware Wordlist - http://world.std.com/~reinhold/diceware.wordlist.asc

WFJ – “Web Privacy Can Be Child's Play”

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB20001424052702303775504579395262543045176


GRC Password Haystack https://www.grc.com/haystack.htm

GRC Perfect Passwords https://www.grc.com/passwords.htm

Inside the brain of a Geek: Easy way to insert a screenshot into an email

Emailing a screenshot is a multiple step process that can be timely and cumbersome.  Outlook 2010 has an obscure tool that can save you some time and frustration. 

Open an email message. Go to the Insert tab. Look for the camera icon.

InsertScreenShotEmail-01.png

Click on the camera icon. Then select the Window you want to insert. *Please note that minimized windows will not be available to select.

InsertScreenShotEmail-02.png

A screenshot of the Windows is now in the email message.

InsertScreenShotEmail-03.png

Your suggestions and questions are always welcome.  Please email me using the form on this website.

Inside the brain of a Geek: Undo an Accidental Move, Copy or Delete

Have you every attempt a file move only to have your mouse skills falter the process and now you must search to find where the file end up?  My favorite thing to do is select multiple files and accidently create copies. Or just delete the wrong file or folder? In any of these cases using Ctrl + Z or Edit \ Undo will quickly reverse whatever you didn’t mean to do.

In the example, below I selected recipes to move.

Undo_Accidental_01.png

I accidentally copied the recipes instead.

Undo_Accidental_02.png

I select CTRL + Z or Edit \ Undo

Undo_Accidental_03.png

Select Yes to verify that I want to delete the copies made.

Undo_Accidental_04.png

Now I’m back to where I started.

Undo_Accidental_05.png

Inside the brain of a Geek: Keyboard shortcut cheat sheet

Love keyboard shortcuts but can never remember the keys? Microsoft now offers you more shortcut options with a cool cheat sheet for Office 2007 and 2010 programs. Pressing the Alt key in any Office program will display KeyTips badges. See the example below.

Press Alt in Word 2010 to display the KeyTip badges.

Shortcuts_Office_Ribbon_01.png

Press H on the keyboard to move to the Home tab. Now use the KeyTip badges to execute a command. 1 will turn on bold. FF will change the font.

Shortcuts_Office_Ribbon_02.png

Inside the brain of a Geek: Help Me, Help You!

Computer issues can turn a good day bad in a millisecond.  When issues arrive you want them fixed but a lot of time you are unsure of what to communicate to technical support. Below are ways to help technical support, help you.

1. Please tell us what you have tried to resolve the issue. We want to know all the details. Did you reboot? Install a fix from a knowledge article? Reopened the application?  Whatever you did let us know.
2. Please send screenshots or photos of the error or issue. If you are getting a blue screen of death grab a smartphone and snap a picture then have a co-worker email it.
3. Always include the applications running when the issue occurred. Software applications are a lot like siblings.  Best friend’s one second then sisters fighting over your brother’s GI Joes the next. 
4. Act like a prairie dog! That’s right pop you head over your cubicle and see if anyone else is experiencing the same issue. Our troubleshoot tactic changes if multiple users have the same issue. Example of issue that could be affecting multiple users.  Internet outage; not sending and/or receiving email; printing to a specific printer; errors with custom applications; and network drives access.
5. Please be descriptive. When receiving directions, which option would you find more helpful?  “We are located in Indiana” or “Our address is 123 Main St, Fort Wayne, IN”. “My computer isn’t working” doesn't provide much direction. “When I start my computer I get a black screen with a white cursor that says no hard drive found” Provides a good starting point for troubleshooting the issue.
6. Having a problem, please tells us. We cannot fix a problem if we do not know it exists.

Computer issues can turn a good day bad in a millisecond.  When issues arrive you want them fixed but a lot of time you are unsure of what to communicate to technical support. Below are ways to help technical support, help you.

Your suggestions and questions are always welcome. Please email me using the form on this site.

Inside the brain of a Geek: Easy way to insert a screenshot into an email

Emailing a screenshot is a multiple step process that can be timely and cumbersome.  Outlook 2010 has an obscure tool that can save you some time and frustration. 

Open an email message. Go to the Insert tab. Look for the camera icon.

Click on the camera icon. Then select the Window you want to insert. *Please note that minimized windows will not be available to select.

A screenshot of the Windows is now in the email message.

Your suggestions and questions are always welcome.  Please email me using the form on this website.

Inside the brain of a Geek: Stop YELLING!

Have you ever starting typing and realized several lines in that you accidentally hit the Cap Lock key? If are nodding right now, chance are you deleted everything and type it all again in lowercase. But way, there is an easy solution.  Highlight the text and hold down the Shift button and hit F3.  Doing this will automatically change the text from UPPER to lower (or vice-versa).  Tap a third time to change the text to Title case, Where The First Letter Of Every Word Is Capitalized.

 

Your suggestions and questions are always welcome. Please email me 

Inside the brain of a Geek: Protect the data on your Android

Don’t worry Android users I didn’t forget you. I found this great article and how to secure your Android phone.

Mobile devices can store a mass amount of data. Photos of your pets?  Confidential corporate email? According to a 2011 study, 50% of mobile users store credit card, PIN, or passwords on their mobile device. Just like your workstation, your Android devices need to be protected. 

For the full article and video on how to secure your Android, please click the photo.

Reference – http://www.phonebuff.com/2012/06/android-secure/

 

Your suggestions and questions are always welcome.  Please email me 

Inside the brain of a Geek: Protecting your iPhone’s data

Mobile devices can store a mass amount of data. What do we store on our iPhone and iPad? Photos of your pets?  Confidential corporate email? According to a 2011 study, 50% of mobile users store credit card, PIN, or passwords on their mobile device.  Your data needs to be protected in case your iPhone becomes lost or stolen.

For a video on how to set a passcode on an iPhone click the photo below.

Tech Warning: When you are setting up your passcode you will see an option called “Erase Data”  Only turn this feature on if you backup your iPhone at least once a week and don’t have small children.

 

Reference - http://www.darkreading.com/cloud-security/167901092/security/news/229625511/half-of-lost-or-stolen-mobile-devices-store-sensitive-company-data.html

Video by 02GureTV

 

Your suggestions and questions are always welcome.  Please email me using the form on this website.

Inside the brain of a Geek: Resize Application Windows in a Snap!

Are you constantly resizing application windows to utilize your whole desktop? Windows 7 has a feature that makes this process a snap. This week I will show you how to use Snap’s side-by-side feature.  I use this feature on a daily basic and am actually using it now to writing and research this tip. 

Follow the detailed instructions or use the link below to watch a short 1 minute video. 

To arrange windows side by side

  1. Drag the title bar of a window to the left or right side of the screen until an outline of the expanded window appears.
  2. Release the mouse to expand the window.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with another window to arrange the windows side by side.

To return the window to its original size, drag the title bar away from the top of the desktop and then release.

Keyboard shortcut:  To snap an active window to the side of the desktop using the keyboard, press Windows logo key +Left Arrow or Windows logo key +Right Arrow.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Arrange-windows-side-by-side-on-the-desktop-using-Snap

Instructions and video courtesy of Microsoft.

Your suggestions and questions are always welcome.  Please email me