Archive for the ‘IT Security’ Category

Secure Passwords – How To Choose Them

Secure passwords will help all your personal information stay safe and a 64 character password will help this. Although it may sound over the top, it is important for your peace of mind that no one will be able to guess your password. This will help ensure that no one but you has access to your data. This might include your: email, social network or financial accounts. Not everyone can remember a 64 character password so we need to choose secure passwords without having them so long.

There are a few rules we should follow when choosing secure passwords. The basic things that everyone should know are:

  • Use upper and lower case letters
  • Use Numbers

The problems with just using these are there are so many programs that go through a dictionary to guess your password and there are even some that are able to replace certain letters with numbers (e.g. S and 5, O and 0, T and 7). This means that just using these basic ways will not give you secure passwords.

There are a few more rules we should use when choosing secure passwords:

  • Using symbols
  • If your using a word as your password misspell it
  • Using random letters, numbers and symbols
  • Longer the password the more secure it is

If you only use lower case letters a 6 character password has 309 million combinations. By using Upper, lower case, number and symbols a 6 character password has 782 billion combinations. Best practise would be to use random letters, numbers and symbols but in real life not everyone would be able to remember this without having it written down somewhere, As that would make all the secure passwords useless if some one were to notice the post-it on your desk.

These tips will help you have secure passwords but doesn’t help remembering every password you need, for that I recommend using the idea of variable password. Its a simple idea that makes it easy to have secure and unique password for all of your accounts. For some more information about having a secure passwords read about Variable Passwords.

for more good advice on choosing secure passwords check out:


Variable Passwords


A lot of people are guilty are of the one cardinal sin to do with passwords, that is using the same password for every single account. We all know that we shouldn’t but it’s just so hard to have all our passwords secure, unique and memorable. The idea of variable passwords is as long as you remember the steps to get the password all of your accounts can have unique and secure passwords.

The idea is you have a constant password which should be a secure password to start off with, for help choosing a secure password read my article on choosing a secure password. The constant password is used in all of your passwords. Added to the constant will be a variable that is different for every account/service, the way the variable is decided and added can be as easy or as hard as you want.

The variable has to be something to do with the website or service it will be used for, a good example would be the website URL. The first or last 3 letters of the URL could be the variable, once we have the variable could be put on the end of constant or in the middle. Here is a simple examples:

Constant = password


Variable at the end : passwordgma

Variable in the middle : passgmaword


Although this would make your password more secure it maybe noticed that your gmail password has “gma” in it, a better idea would be to change variable in to numbers. The easiest way would be a=1, b=2, c =3 and so on. So “gma” now becomes: 7131 (g=7, m=13, a=1).Which is hard to see how the variable was decided. Taking that one step further you could alternate between the constant and variable password. This could be either the initial variable or the number variable derived from the initial variable. Here are some examples:

Varible Passwords


The idea can be expanded to reverse the variable before you use it or add your birth date on to the variable once it has been converted to numbers. The idea of variable passwords can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, As long as you can remember the steps to get your variable and how they are placed in the password you should never forget any of your unique and secure passwords again.



iMessage Spam

If your looking to block iMessage spam check out this blog post : How to block iMessage spam

Will iMessage spam be the next big thing for mobile marking spammers? Just like Facetime that started out on IOS devices and soon made its way to OSX, iMessage will probably follow soon enough. But what would be the use of having iMessage on a device that wasn’t in your pocket? well there isn’t so apple may add iMessage to the rest if their products on


If you search iMessage spam there are the first few reports from people about iMessage spam but at the moment it isn’t a problem the majority have. But there is a problem with the current iMessage system unlike Blackberry Messenger you do not have to add before they can message you, so any one with your iMessage phone number or email address is able to send you anything they wish. Some thing that most people won’t have noticed because you only give out your iMessage to people you want to contact you, but currently there isn’t a way to block people on iMessenger, the only way is to turn off your iMessage.

I’m sure that apple with be able to stop certain iMessage accounts if they get to many complaints but it is easy enough to open up another iTunes account and continue their spam campaign.


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