How to Make a Great Password

What is a good password?

A good password is one that is sufficient to keep others out.  Unfortunately what we’ve been doing in the past is no longer sufficient to combat the modern hacker.  Our old password habits include:

  • Short passwords can be hacked in seconds
  • Passwords that are made up from guessable words like our kids names, etc.
  • Even seemingly complex passwords made from special characters and numbers can be hacked in seconds or minutes now.

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Finding out if your Online Username and Password have been Hacked

How would you know if your username and password have been hacked?

In recent times there have been a rash of email phishing scams that go something like this:

  • They claim they have hacked you personally and have your username and password
  • They show you the password to add validity to the claim and get your attention (which it certainly does)
  • They say they have used your computer to record some form of bad behavior (adult or illegal websites, etc,)
  • They threaten that they will make this behavior public if your don’t pay them
  • They ask for some large amount of money in Bitcoins

Let me be clear – this is a scam.  Don’t pay them or even bother to communicate with them.  Throw out the emails.

But how did they get your username and password?

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Windows 10 – Should I wait?

Microsoft has recently released the latest version of its operating system (OS) for PCs – Windows 10 (let’s call it WinX).

This is the first time Microsoft is offering the upgrade for free to existing users of Windows 7 and 8 (until July 2016).   They are intending to make upgrades to their OS less of a big deal in the future, giving it away and moving to a more automatic update format.   Apple and Android have been following this model for years.   It’s a good idea for the most part – keeping your OS up to date means it has the latest security & features.

WinX NotifierMany of you may have seen a little notifier popping up on your PCs prompting you to reserve your free copy of WinX now.   With great joy and vigor many of you have done just so.   But is this a good idea? Continue reading

Rogue Logins can be a Backdoor into your Practice

Every Microsoft Windows computer on the network has a number of Local User Accounts that can be used to login to the PC without needing to know a Username and Password on the overall Practice network security domain.   These local accounts are often overlooked or forgotten.   Often they may have blank passwords when the computer is shipped to you.  Hackers and viruses can exploit these accounts, so it is important that they are secured or deleted. Continue reading

Internet Firewall Checkup – 15 minutes that can save your Practice

When was the last time you checked the most important part of your Internet Defense?  All that stands between you and the Evils of the Internet is a single device called the Internet Firewall (or sometimes called the Router).   The firewall is a gatekeeper and controls what can get ‘out’ to the Internet from your Office network, and more importantly what can get ‘in’ to your network from the evil public side.  Have no freaking idea what it’s currently configured to allow in (and should you really)?  Then this article is for you, keep reading. Continue reading

You need a Business Associate Agreement with your IT Person (and others)

If you are a dental specialist and have computers in your Practice and have an external IT person that looks after them, you need a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with them.   I know you are squirming and wish this didn’t apply to you, but it’s pretty simple and clear that it does. Continue reading

Thinking About Cloud Computing? What questions should you be asking and why. – Part 12

Cloud Computing - What about Patient Education applicationsWhat about Patient Education applications?

Many Practices now utilize Patient Education Application applications such as Dolphin Aquarium or IACT Case Presenter.   In some cases these are integrated with the traditional in-house Practice Management Application (PM App) or Imaging App.   The integration streamlines the workflow process. Continue reading