No, abc123 is NOT a strong enough password, granny!

This morning at 6:30, my husband woke me, saying “Ms. K (name withheld!) is on Facebook chat and she’s in London. She was mugged and needs cash to help her get back.” Now, I am no morning person, so none of this made any sense as I shook off my nice dreams and went downstairs to see what he was talking about.

Turns out some wanker hacked into my friend’s Facebook account and was pretending she was in trouble and needed money. This person is clearly dumber than a bag of rocks because I was 99% sure that my friend wasn’t in London and also that my friend knows I’m broke and couldn’t help her even if I wanted to. I also learned that this loser tried pulling this scam on a number of Ms. K’s Facebook friends.

What have we learned from this story, kids (besides how some people should have to have a license to breed)?

MAKE STRONG PASSWORDS, PEOPLE!

Luckily nothing terrible happened in this case, but I don’t want to hear about this happening to any of my clients, friends or family. Ever.

Here’s my two-step plan for keeping my passwords and stuff ultra-safe:

  1. Generate all passwords with some sort of Password Generator. You can use this one on my site, but there are others out there as well.
  2. Use a tool like 1Password to store all of your passwords. You only need to remember one password — the one that locks the application itself. Every time you want to log into a site, you click a button that’s integrated into your browser and it signs in for you. 1Password is a Mac application, and there’s an iPhone/iPod Touch app to complement it. I love using this application because I can have a different password for every silly little site that needs one and I never have to remember them all. It also lets you know how strong your passwords are, so it does double duty!

If you’re a Windows user, please leave a comment about which application you prefer for password storage.

Now I’m off to double check all of my passwords and make sure they’re not easy to figure out. You should, too.

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Be nice. Be real. Be happy.