I hear the birds chirping outside my window, but then again it’s unlike any other May Day in my lifetime. My cherry blossom tree already bloomed for the year. Hope you’re starting to see those signs of spring as well.
-The new iPhone SE is a winning release for Apple. I will be doing my first remote setups for clients over the next week or so. You could also buy it to hold for later. At $399 it is more powerful than almost any Android phone on the market. Whether you order directly from Apple or from your carrier, you can ask me which is best for you. In many instances there are interest free payments available. I think a lot of buyers will just purchase it outright. Drawbacks? I thought of one since last week and while it certainly isn’t a minus for me, it may be for some people. The iPhone SE does not have 5G cellular technology. Of course, no iPhone on the market has 5G right now. The new more expensive “iPhone 12” models released in the fall will almost certainly have 5G. Don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of this extreme value.
– 2020 Mac Book Air — I mentioned a few weeks ago that Apple has finally brought back the old keyboard design on their consumer focused Mac Books and that if you need a Mac Book, you can go ahead and strongly consider the new Air. https://www.apple.com/macbook-air/ When you choose the base model at $999 ($899 with education discount), you will want to make 1 upgrade during the checkout. PLEASE – choose the i5 processor for a $100 upgrade. It’s well worth it. So for $1099, you have an awesome Mac.
Not The Password Boy Who Cried Wolf – Part 127
I’ve sent out e-mails like this before. That is why I am calling it Part 127. I get these sad stories from clients every so often. An e-mail account has been compromised. Requests for payment or money were sent out. Someone didn’t screen the request properly and actually sent the money. During this time of Covid19, the scammers have not rested. This is peak season for them. Some hackers have software that just keeps guessing at e-mail passwords until they can “crack” them. The easier your password is, the better the chance that they will crack it quickly. However, major e-mail providers like Gmail, Yahoo and Microsoft do have systems in place that lock the account after an excessive number of tries. Yet, if your password is super easy to guess — it’s not going to help you anyway.
One thing I have noticed during this “stay safe, stay at home” period is that many of you have terrible passwords. You don’t take this seriously at all. Think of all of the services you have that can be broken into if a bad actor were to get into your e-mail account. Here are a few BEST PRACTICES that I have tried to teach to clients over the past 5 years or so. Unfortunately, I don’t think many are making the grade on this topic.
3 Ways to Create Better Passwords — Choose 1
-use a professional password manager — like Last Pass, 1Password, or Dashlane. (of course this involves learning a new piece of software and not everyone wants to do this).
– Use a random password generator. Set length to 12 or greater — and you will get totally randomized passwords to PRINT OUT. This is a tool I frequently use with clients https://www.random.org/passwords/
-Finally — a client can come up with their own if they use a good formula — secure base plus specific ending for each site. Again, it should be something easy for you to remember, hard for others to guess. Let’s say for example not many people know I like John Denver music.
My base might be — “Leavingonajetplane”
My password for Microsoft might be Leavingonajetplane20msft
My password for Google might be Leavingonajetplane19goog
And so on.
Again, those would be good passwords, if no one could associate me with that base.
Extra Credit: And while you have some time — if you do online banking — why don’t you call your bank’s help # and ask them this question. It’s a very simple one. What are you doing — beyond my user name and password — to protect my account? Is there a 2nd factor? Is there some other security measure? What do they offer beyond user name and password?