Wise Guys on WHO Radio - August 21, 2010
Links from today's show:
- Google's CEO thinks people may need to get into the habit of changing their names just to escape the digital breadcrumb trail to their youthful indiscretions
- Why you should never use your child's photo as your Facebook profile picture
- Your e-mail password is too short -- unless it's at least 12 characters long. Graphics engines are so good and so fast that anything shorter than 12 characters is like child's play to crack.
- It's not as hard to generate a long password as you might think. Try using the punctuation marks and the first character of each of the words in a long, memorable sentence. For instance: "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union" would generate "WtpotUS,iotfampu" -- a long, gibberish-looking password that would be challenging for a criminal to hack, but easy for you to remember. Or try using the same system for generating characters from a song you like. I'm a UNI alumnus, so I might use the start of the Panther fight song: "Hail our Panthers, we are ever loyal, showing our strength and unity. As we rise we firmly stand behind you..." -- which would turn into "HoP,wael,sosau.Awrwfsby". No crook is going to guess a password like that out of the blue, but I couldn't easily forget it. Use your own school's fight song, or the lyrics to your favorite pop song (even if it's something by Lady Gaga). The possibilities are endless -- everyone knows certain long phrases that can be used to generate passwords, even if we don't realize it. You probably know song lyrics, or passages from books, or prayers, that you can recite from heart.
- And don't forget to keep a written record of your most important passwords, and store it in a safe location. You never know when you might be hit by a bus, so to speak, and your loved ones will need to know how to access your accounts.