Passwords – the bad news and the good news

Tech Talk #59 – Sep. 2, 2017   Passwords - the bad news and the good news   First, the bad news.   Back in 2003, Bill Burr, a manager at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), wrote a paper about computer passwords that eventually became the password mess we find ourselves in today. Burr’s eight-page password recommendation document, titled NIST Special Publication 800-63. Appendix A advised people to use irregular capitalization, special

Passwords and security questions

Tech Talk #54 – June 24, 2017   Passwords and security questions   Again with the passwords? Yes, because passwords are important and how we reset passwords has changed.   In the old days (a couple of years ago), if you forgot your password for your email or social media account, you could prove you were you by answering some security questions. Then you could reset your password.   But there were problems with that

Google history

Tech Talk #29 – July 9, 2016 The more time we spend on the internet, the more advertisers and search engines know about us. But what do they know? And what, exactly, are they tracking?   When we use Google to search for something or use Gmail, or watch videos on YouTube or conduct any other type of activity through a Google product or service, Google collects data and establishes a personal profile which it uses to distribute

Wrangling those passwords

Tech Talk #5 These days every site you visit wants a password. We’re not supposed to use the same password everywhere. Each site has different rules for the password they’ll allow you to have. What to do?   Use a password manager.   Many people use good old fashioned paper and pencil to keep track of their passwords. This is probably not a good idea if you work in an office where someone else could