Posts tagged security

Dashlane Dashboard

Passwords, yeah, passwords.

Passwords are the necessary pain in the backside that we know are very important, but that also cause us all to waste a lot of time trying to remember our passwords, and trying to make sure we change them when prompted, yet keep from wasting large chunks of time when we have to “recover” a password that we forgot. And yes, when passwords are used by someone who shouldn’t have them, it can certain wreck a lot of havoc – yikes!

As someone who is online nearly constantly during my work day, and quite a bit outside the office as well, I have to admit that my personal password management has not been great until the past few months. When the Heartbleed Bug surfaced back in April, I looked at how I managed my personal passwords and realized that I was following all the traps that I should have avoided:

  • Using the same password on multiple sites
  • Not using strong passwords on some sites
  • Having some passwords on note applications or other non-secured placements
  • I have used 2-step verification on the sites which provided it and continue to do so wherever possible

I quickly realized that I needed to buck up and get a password manager above and beyond those basic ones built into Chrome and Safari. I did a good amount of research and decided for my cross-OS needs (Mac/Android) that I would try Dashlane. It isn’t perfect, but it generates strong passwords, has a great dashboard to show me where I need to improve my passwords and has helpful plugins for Chrome and Safari browsers (the 2 that I most typically use, there is a Firefox extension as well). Now that I’m several months into using a password manager, I have a great way to make sure my wife can get access to critical passwords as well as peace of mind that my very important internet logins are a lot safer than they used to be – even though, as you can see in the screen shot, I still have a number of passwords to change out as I had used the same password on a number of site, and I still have to make several passwords a bit more secure, but I don’t have any compromised passwords and I have the somewhat comforting words of “Kind of Safe” for my

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10 Tips for Configuring a Blog

WordPress LogoI’ve had my blog on a self-hosted installation for about a year now and I really like it. Particularly at a time when I hear that had an issue that caused them to go offline for over an hour, which means that there were over 10 million blogs that were inaccessible for around an hour on this past Thursday evening.

  1. Pick a theme that is clean and fits your content. There are a lot of pretty or tricked out themes to choose from, remember that it’s your content that people will be looking for so choose accordingly.
  2. Think of a category and tagging scheme that (once again) is appropriate for the content that you are posting.
  3. If your theme doesn’t have it’s own SEO support built in, add a plugin like HeadSpace2 or  Greg’s High Performance SEO.
  4. On the SEO topic, make sure you have a site map plugin, like Google XML Sitmaps and have submitted and had your site verified with Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo!’s Site Explorer although Bing will very soon be providing search results for Yahoo!
  5. Setup Feedburner for readers who want to subscribe to your blog either via RSS or email, this also is a way to track how and where your RSS content is consumed. There are plugins to help setup the RSS part and even to display your feed stats in your blog’s dashboard (Feed Stats for WordPress).
  6. I also recently began using a plugin that puts a line of text in the footer of your blog’s RSS feed, which will allow readers who are reading your post in an RSS reader or even inserted in someone else’s post to know where the content originated at.
  7. Be sure to license the ideas and content that you publish on your blog with a Creative Commons license.
  8. Do your mobile readers a favor and add a plugin like the WPtouch iPhone Theme to allow your iPhone, Android and other smartphone users a mobile optimized browsing experience.
  9. If you’re like me and reference your own posts, it’s good to install the No Self Pings plugin to avoid getting a ‘pingback’ each time you link to one of your own posts.
  10. Keep your WordPress software install as up to date as possible in order to keep up with the most recent security patches and also consider installing security plugins like Secure WordPress and WP Security Scan
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