How Secure Is Your Password?

Do you realize just how insecure most passwords in use today really are? Just two years ago, an 8 character password made up of both upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols would have taken 2.25 years to crack. The same password today would take just 57 days. This is a good indicator of just how quickly processing power has advanced in the past couple of years.

Take a look at the table below, heat mapped with what are considered safe and unsafe password combinations. Where does your password fit in the table, and how secure is it?

A Chart Outlining the Security of Passwords Today
















k – Thousand (1,000 or 10-3)
m – Million (1,000,000 or 10-6)
bn – Billion (1,000,000,000 or 10-9)
tn – Trillion (1,000,000,000,000 or 10-12)
qd – Quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000 or 10-15)
qt – Quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 10-18)


My advice is to make sure your passwords contain both upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols and that it is at least 10 to 14 characters long. You can use numbers and symbols instead of some letters, for example the number 0 can be used instead of an o or O, a $ can be used instead of an S and a 1 can be used instead of an i or an L. You should also always avoid dictionary words (the first things password crackers look for) and easily guessable numbers such as the year of your birth.

Most all of my own passwords fall comfortably in the safe zone on the chart, but one password I use less often and that I considered safe is now in the red danger zone so I will have changed that by the time you’ve finished reading this article.

Want to check to see just how secure your passwords are? Check them out here:



Cloud Backup Service – Get A Free Trial Now

Ever been the victim of a hard drive crash? If not, the odds are you will, and pretty soon.

I have had internal PC hard drive crashes, as well as external hard drive crashes, and losing all of those files and data is no fun. I was backing up my hard drive to an external hard drive, and the external hard drive crashed, meaning I lost all of my back ups.

Some Computer Statistics

Some Computer Statistics

It has been found that pretty much every single computer hard drive will eventually crash at some point during its lifetime and that means total data loss on that drive.

In addition it is already a known fact that almost half of all home computer users lose either their photos or music and other important documents from their computers each year. This is astounding and just goes to prove that in general, people just do not backup their computer files, or if they do, they back them up to an external drive, which is just as susceptible to failure as the internal drive on your PC.

Another fact concerns laptop computer theft. It has been estimated that 10% of all laptops will be stolen at some time during their useful lifespan. Also it is a fact that today a laptop is now stolen every minute of the day!

According to PC World Magazine, “Every year, 43% of computer users lose their music, photos, documents, and more.”

What all this means is that too many people are losing computer files and important data that cannot easily be replaced, when in fact there is now a solution to easily stop this from happening.

Now There’s A Backup Solution

Now there are new cloud backup services which are easier to use and which allow you to do your backups and get to your backed up files and information wherever you are in the world. All you need is an internet connection and a subscription to the service, so you can backup and restore your data whenever you want and wherever you are. No more excuses for not having a reliable backup of all your important data and files.

What is Cloud Backup?

What is Cloud Backup?Basically the cloud is just a very large server type of computer with huge storage that you can access over the internet to store your own personal files and data on. And because you connect to it with an internet connection you can access it from anywhere in the world.

With a cloud backup service you get to totally automate the backup of your own computer(s) and put it on a schedule you control. In fact you are completely in control of how often backups take place and what you backup. Of course you can restore any file you need whenever you want to.

Cloud backups really are a great way of protecting all those photo images, videos and important documents on your personal computer whether it is used at home or in the office.


What Do Cloud Backup Services Provide?

These services store and protect your data securely away from others where it remains totally private for only you to access. In many case files will be encrypted to give them the highest level of security.

Another great benefit is that you can synchronize your files between different computers and this is very easy and quick to do. Your computer can now be backed up silently each day without any intervention from you, so even if you forget that it is happening it still gets done!

The best of these services will also not restrict how much you can store on their cloud backup servers, so you will get a facility that allows you to have an unlimited online backup of as many files as you want to protect securely.

You can also get a service that allows you to share all of your files and information folders, such as your best photos and other precious data, between all of your friends and your family as well.

The service I chose to use after researching several options was JustCloud.Back up all your data automatically without having to do a thing.

After the initial backup (which took about 5 days to completely back up my internal PC hard drive, and two exterior hard drives – over 90 gigabytes of data) now, my backups occur automatically every night without me having to do a thing.

And what’s really cool is being able to access my backed up files no matter where I am or which computer I’m using. All my files are “in the cloud”.

Check out the best way I found to automate the backup process and sign up for your free trial today. You have nothing to lose, except your hard drive!


Backing Up Your Social Media Accounts

Have you ever wondered how you can back up all the data that you put onto Facebook, Twitter, and your blog?

You never know what could happen to Facebook, Twitter or your blog. By backing up your accounts on a fairly regular basis you are less likely to lose any important info that keeps your business running.

There are tons of quick and easy ways to back up your social media data.

Facebook: Facebook recently allowed all users the ability to download all of their content – the info on their wall, photos, videos etc. This is how you do it:

  • Go to Facebook and log in
  • Go to Account Settings
  • Click on “Download Your Information” and allow Facebook to download your info
  • Wait for an e-mail that will let you know your info is ready
  • Go through the security test that allows you to download your info onto your desktop
  • Once it’s downloaded, double click it to unzip. From there you can open it and view all your information.

Twitter: There are many ways to back up your tweets. Even the Library of Congress is categorizing and storing tweets. So how can you store yours?

  •  This site has a free version which allows you to sync up to 3 Twitter accounts and provides detailed analytics, or you upgrade to the paid version which allows an unlimited amount of accounts for only $5 a year! The only downside is I found it takes quite a while to sync your data, but the site is really easy to navigate
  •  This site is free and super easy to use. No bells and whistles but it is super easy to navigate and it’s nice being able to sync and save specific hashtags.

Your Blog:

  • WordPress Blog: If you have a WordPress blog, download the plugin WP-DB Manager, this plugin gives you the option to optimize, backup and restore your entire database. If you want to just backup specific parts of your WordPress blog, in your Dashboard, click ‘Tools,’ then click ‘Export’ and you can then choose which posts you’d like to backup
  • Non WordPress Blog: If you don’t have a WordPress blog you can use This service works for all other blog formats, provides a daily backup, runs over the internet, and there is no need to install anything!

So now that you have the tools, I highly recommend before the month is over to go backup your data.

I’d love your comments or feedback on backing up all your Social data. Leave me a comment below.

Largest Microsoft Patch Ever Coming Soon!

Next Tuesday will be Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday for the month of October. For IT admins this means it’s time to clear your calendar and prepare to address a record-setting 16 security bulletins addressing 49 different identified vulnerabilities. This breaks the current record of 14 security bulletins that were issued back in August 2010.

Most of the updates plug security holes that could allow malevolent internet users to inject malicious code into the users’ computers. As these holes are usually in features not switched on by default, Microsoft usually labels them as Important (the most critical updates are labeled Critical).

It’s a long list of affected software that includes: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 and 2008, Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 3, Office 2003 Service Pack 3, Office 2007 Service Pack 2, Office 2010, Office 2004 for Mac and 2008 for Mac, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, SharePoint Server 2007, Groove Server 2010, and Office Web Apps.

These patches are considered important as we head into the last quarter of the year, a time when many businesses have a heavy volume of online shopping. This period sees many financial and retail companies going into lockdown mode where they don’t update their systems.

Microsoft will release the 16 updates at approximately 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 12.  I think I’ll take that afternoon off and turn off my phones.