Just Be Safe

I thought I would make my theme for this weekend — Just Be Safe. Rather than share some new product or service revelation, I just want to help you get secure with the basics. I want to tell you a few basic tips that can help make you more secure right away.

1. Change your key passwords (e-mail, banking, shopping sites, work sites) every 6 months at least. Some organizations even enforce a 90 day password change policy on their users. I am in favor of that also. Your password should not include dictionary words and should include a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters #$%@. Passwords should be at least 12 characters long. You should not use the same password for any two services

1a. The process of managing passwords is greatly simplified by using a password manager. The two password managers I support with my clients are Last Pass and 1Password. These managers will not only auto save, and fill your passwords, but will also help you generate randomized passwords.

1b. If for some reason you refuse to use one of the aforementioned password managers, please use the following tool to create safe randomized passwords. This site will even let you print out a list of 5, 10, 20 (for example) randomized passwords for future use. https://www.random.org/passwords/

2. If a big advertisement has taken over your whole browser window , there is at least a good chance that your whole computer hasn’t become infected. Try clearing the history on your browser first. If you don’t know how to clear the history on your browser, you should Google this right now. Search for — clear history ______________ ( and plug in Firefox, Chrome, Safari). Within this point, I will also say that you should have a secondary browser ready to use in case things go haywire with your primary browser. Love Safari? Have Chrome or Firefox handy. You get the point.

3. Finally, keep your operating system up to date. The current version of the Mac OS is 10.11.5. The current version of Windows is Windows 10, 1511, 10586.318. Both the Mac OS and Windows to a pretty good job of performing automatic updates these days. Expect a new version of Windows 10 this summer and a new version of the Mac OS in the fall.