Windows 8 | Microsoft sets price, options and pre-order

Windows 8 | Microsoft sets price, options and pre-order

Two weeks ahead of the official debut of Windows 8, online retailer Newegg.com launched a preorder program for the new Microsoft operating system, while also revealing the pricing of the new product.

Microsoft Corp opened its Windows 8 operating system for pre-orders on Friday, setting the price for an upgrade to the full version of the software at $70 for a DVD pack. Newegg displays a total of four different products on its official website, with pricing going as follows:

– Windows 8 Professional Upgrade – $69.99 (save $130)
– Windows 8 Pro Pack – Product Key Card (no media) – $69.99 (save $30)
– Windows 8 (Full Version) – OEM $99.99
– Windows 8 Pro (Full Version) – OEM $139.9

Both Windows 8 (Full Version) – OEM and Windows 8 Pro (Full Version) – OEM are delivered in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, according to ZDNet, with the price to remain the same regardless of the version you choose. Microsoft hasn’t yet confirmed that this is the official pricing of the new OS, but we’ll let you know as soon as we hear from the Redmondians.

Users can also wait for launch on October 26 to download the system onto their computers for $40, an offer price that will expire at the end of January. PCs running Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8.

Shoppers can reserve the software pack at Microsoft’s own stores, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Staples and elsewhere. Microsoft has not yet announced the price of the full software to install from scratch, as opposed to the upgrade. The current price for a comparable version of Windows 7 is $200.

Any customer who buys, or already bought, a Windows 7 PC between June 2 and the end of January 2013 will be able to get an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $15, a move designed to prevent a drop-off in PC sales before the launch of Windows 8.

Microsoft also said PC makers such as Acer, Asustek, Dell, HP, Samsung and Sony were also now taking pre-orders for machines with Windows 8 pre-installed.

The world’s largest software company did not mention its own Surface tablet PC, which is expected on the market at the same time as Windows 8. Microsoft has not revealed the price of the product it hopes will challenge Apple Inc’s iPad.

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Avast Free Antivirus 7.0.1466 | Free Download

Avast Free Antivirus 7.0.1466 | Free Download

Hybrid Cloud Technologies

NewStreaming, real-time virus database updates

Now you get each virus signature sent to you in real-time via connection to the AVAST Virus Lab cloud, rather than needing to wait for a traditional database update. Your database will be continuously updated with latest definitions.

NewFile reputation system

FileRep lets you know whether a file is safe before you open it – determined in part by how many people have the file and how new the file is. The technology is also used internally, to help the scanning engine make more intelligent decisions.

New Protective Features

ImprovedAutoSandbox

Suspicious programs are now automatically placed inside the avast! Sandbox. When the program finishes, a comprehensive report is generated and, based on the program’s behavior, you are given a recommendation on how to treat it in the future.

ImprovedBrowser Sandboxing

Enabled by a single click of the mouse, it allows you to completely isolate the browser from the rest of the system – even if the browser gets hijacked, your system stays clean.

ImprovedWebRep

The version 7 WebRep browser plugins provide greater protection against phishing sites, including heuristics detection of new phishing sites. Additionally, we have extended browser support to Apple™ Safari™.

ImprovedSafeZone™

Available only in Pro Antivirus and Internet Security, our SafeZone™, your ultimate clean and secure window for financial transactions, now auto-prompts you and moves to the SafeZone from your regular browser.

Greater Usability

Newavast! Account portal

Your web-based avast! Account portal is your personal directory for all your avast! related data. It allows you to track all your avast! installations, complete with their health data, status information, and useful statistics.

NewRemote Assistance

Our new Remote Assistance tool lets you initiate remote support from any ‘geek’ among your friends or family who agrees to help. Initiated by you, it routes through AVAST’s servers, bypasses firewalls, and can be terminated by you at any time. You will never have to ask for help over the phone again.

ImprovedEasy-to-use user interface

The avast! user interface has been optimized to be more intuitive. Novices will find it easy to use, while experts are still able to customize every aspect of the software to their individual needs.

NewCustomizable installation

Your avast! software can now be installed in Compatibility Mode, meaning that it will run perfectly along with your other antivirus software to act as a second line of defense. And even if you install avast! in normal mode, you are given the possibility to install the components you really need.

Now even faster AND less resource-hungry

Independent tests showed that avast! 6 was one of the fastest and least resource-intensive antivirus products available. We made version 7 even better: this is our best-performing product ever.

Windows 8 Beta compatible

avast! 7 runs great on Windows 8 and even has some cool new Windows 8 specific features, such as the Early-Load Antimalware Driver (ELAM), which snaps into the Windows 8 Secure Boot process to provide additional protection against system-level rootkits and bootkits.

System Requirement

To run avast! Free Antivirus, your PC must meet the following criteria:

Operating Systems Supported
  • Windows 7 (any Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows Vista (any Edition excl. Starter Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher (any Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack 4 (incompatible with avast! Account)
Minimum Hardware Requirements
  • Pentium 3 Processor
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 200 MB of free hard disk space

Please note that avast! Free Antivirus runs only on PCs with Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack 4 and newer.

For best results, remove any other antivirus software from your PC before installing avast!

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SlideShare | One step solution for all your presentations

SlideShare | One step solution for all your presentations

SlideShare is a Web 2.0 based slide hosting service. Users can upload files privately or publicly in the following file formats: PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote or OpenOffice presentations. Slide decks can then be viewed on the site itself, on hand held devices or embedded on other sites.[2] Launched on October 4, 2006, the website is considered to be similar to YouTube, but for slideshows.[3] The website was originally meant to be used for businesses to share slides among employees more easily, but it has since expanded to also become a host of a large number of slides which are uploaded merely to entertain.[4] Although the website is primarily a slide hosting service, it also supports documents, PDFs, videos and webinars.[5] SlideShare also provides users the ability to rate, comment on, and share the uploaded content. The current list of SlideShare’s investors includes Venrock, David Siminoff and Dev Khare.[6]

The website gets an estimated 58 million unique visitors a month,[7] and has about 16 million registered users.[citation needed] SlideShare was voted amongst by the World’s Top 10 tools for education & e-learning in 2010.[8] SlideShare’s biggest competitors include Scribd.com, Issuu and Docstoc. Some of the notable users of SlideShare include The White House, NASA, World Economic Forum, State of Utah, O’Reilly Media, Hewlett Packard and IBM.

Quantum Optics | The Nobel winning research of 2012

Quantum Optics | The Nobel winning research of 2012

U.S. physicist David Wineland talks about his experiment in his lab during a media tour after a news conference on Tuesday in Boulder, Colo. Wineland and French physicist Serge Haroche were awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics for finding ways to measure quantum particles without destroying them.
A French-American duo shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for experiments on quantum particles that have already resulted in ultra-precise clocks and may one day lead to computers many times faster than those in use today.

Serge Haroche of France and American David Wineland showed in the 1990s how to observe individual particles while preserving their bizarre quantum properties, something that scientists had struggled to do before.

Image: Serge Haroche

French physicist Serge Haroche discusses his role in Nobel-winning research during a news conference at the College de France in Paris on Tuesday.

A quantum particle is one that is isolated from everything else. In this situation, an atom or electron or photon takes on strange properties. It can be in two places at once, for example. It behaves in some ways like a wave. But these properties are instantly changed when it interacts with something else, such as when somebody observes it.

Working separately, the two scientists, both 68, developed “ingenious laboratory methods” that allowed them to manage and measure and control fragile quantum states, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

“Their ground-breaking methods have enabled this field of research to take the very first steps towards building a new type of superfast computer based on quantum physics,” the academy said. “The research has also led to the construction of extremely precise clocks that could become the future basis for a new standard of time.”

Background: Nobel-winning physics explained

Haroche is a professor at the College de France and Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. Wineland is a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.

The two researchers use opposite approaches to examine, control and count quantum particles, the academy said. Wineland traps ions — electrically charged atoms — and measures them with light. Haroche controls and measures photons, or light particles, by sending atoms through a specially prepared trap.

Haroche said he was out walking with his wife when he got the call from the Nobel judges.

“I was in the street and passing a bench so I was able to sit down,” Haroche told a news conference in Stockholm by telephone. “It’s very overwhelming.”

He said his work in the realm of quantum physics could ultimately lead to unimaginably fast computers. “You can do things which are prohibited by the laws of classical physics,” he told The Associated Press.

Haroche also said quantum research could help make GPS navigating systems more accurate.

‘Got a lot smarter’
Wineland told AP he was sleeping when his wife answered the phone at 3:30 a.m. local time in Denver. He was utterly shocked even though his name had come up before. “But actually I hadn’t heard anything this time around. It was certainly surprising and kind of overwhelming right now,” he said. “I feel like I got a lot smarter overnight.”

Wineland took pains to note that many people are working in the field. “First of all, a lot of people have been working on advanced computers and atomic clocks for a long time. It’s a bit embarrassing to focus on just two individuals,” he said.

Asked how he will celebrate, Wineland said: “I’ll probably be pretty worn out by this evening. I’ll probably have a glass of wine and fall asleep.”

Christopher Monroe, who does similar work at the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland, said the awarding of the prize to the two men “is not a big surprise to me. … It was sort of obvious that they were a package.”

Monroe said that thanks to the bizarre properties of the quantum world, when he and Wineland worked together in the 1990s, they were able to put a single atom in two places simultaneously.

At that time, it wasn’t clear that trapping single atoms could help pave the way to superfast quantum computers, he said. That whole field “just fell into our laps,'” Monroe said.

In an ordinary computer, information is represented in bits, each of which is either a zero or a one. But in a quantum computer, an individual particle can essentially represent a zero and a one at the same time — that is, until the result is read out. If scientists can make quantum bits, or “qubits,” work together, certain kinds of calculations could be done with blazing speed.

One example is prime factorization, the process of discovering which two prime numbers can be multiplied together to produce a given number. That has implications for breaking the encryption codes that provide the foundation for today’s secure financial transactions. However, quantum encryption could open the way for a new generation of secure communication tools as well.

Quantum computers could radically change people’s lives in the way that classical computers did last century, but a full-scale quantum computer is still decades away, the Nobel judges said. “The calculations would be incredibly much faster and exact, and you would be able to use it for areas like meteorology and for measuring the climate of the earth,” said Lars Bergstrom, the secretary of the prize committee.

The physics prize was the second of the 2012 Nobel Prizes to be announced, with the medicine prize going Monday to stem cell pioneers John Gurdon of Britain and Japan’s Shinya Yamanaka. Each award is worth 8 million kronor, or about $1.2 million.

The prizes are always handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.

Source: – NBC News
A Special Review | Why the Higgs Boson research didn’t win this year’s Nobel Prize…

A Special Review | Why the Higgs Boson research didn’t win this year’s Nobel Prize…

In the days leading up to today’s (Oct. 9) announcement of the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics, speculation was rampant that the discovery of the Higgs boson particle would be rewarded this year.

This summer, particle physicists at the world’s largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), announced they’d finally found what looks to be the Higgs boson after decades of searches have turned up nothing. Recently, rumors started flying that the 2012 Nobel would reward either the teams responsible for the discovery, or the scientists who predicted the particle’s existence almost 50 years ago.

Today, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that this year’s Nobel in physics was awarded to French physicist Serge Haroche and American physicist David Wineland for their pioneering work in quantum optics — the study of the fundamental interaction between light and matter.

Why no glory for the Higgs?

“It was too early,” said Nobel laureate George Smoot of the University of California, Berkeley, who won the 2006 physics prize with John Mather for their work on the cosmic microwave radiation in space left over from the Big Bang. Their findings came from measurements made by NASA’s COBE satellite after it launched in 1989.

The Nobel committee has a history of taking its time to reward scientific discoveries. Last year’s winners, Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess, won the prize for their work in the 1990s revealing that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. And such a delay is typical for Nobels, which aim to honor breakthroughs and scientists whose impact has been borne out over time. [In Photos: Nobel Prize Winners 2012]

Scientists predicted the existence of the Higgs boson in the 1960s to explain why other particles have mass. The particle is thought to be associated with a Higgs field pervading space that bestows mass on particles the way wetness clings to kids who swim through a pool.

This year, two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider had amassed enough data to prove that a new particle had been created with the properties predicted for the Higgs. Yet, physicists can’t say for certain yet that the particle is definitively the Higgs boson.

Still, some thought the find might be enough to finally reward the Higgs predictors, including Peter Higgs, the 83-year-old theorist from Scotland’s University of Edinburgh who forecast the boson’s existence in 1964. Others suggested the teams behind the LHC’s recent find should be honored.

Columbia University physicist Peter Woit suggested the Nobel committee break with tradition and award the prize to organizations, rather than individuals, to recognize the teams behind the particle accelerator (run by the CERN physics lab in Switzerland) and its two main experiments, called ATLAS and CMS, that found the particle.

“If there really is nothing but custom to keep them from awarding the Nobel this year to ATLAS, CMS and CERN for the Higgs, I can’t see a better occasion to break with the custom, and they’ve had a long time to decide whether or not to do this,” Woit wrote yesterday (Oct. 8) on his blog. “So, here’s a (probably wrong…) prediction for tomorrow: ATLAS, CMS and CERN as Nobelists.”

Some universities even put out press releases in advance offering journalists access to their Higgs experts in case the Nobel this year went to a Higgs scientist.

Perhaps another year will be enough to show the LHC’s particle really is the Higgs.

“The announcement was of a Higgs-like particle and the current LHC run was extended to try and determine more of the Higgs-like particle’s properties so that one could begin ascertaining if it really is the long-anticipated Higgs,” Smoot told LiveScience. “It probably will turn out to be, but it is too early to be sure.”

Furthermore, the summer timing of the LHC announcement simply may have missed the deadline for this year’s Nobel prizes.

“The discovery announcement came too late,” suggested Frank Wilczek, a co-winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the strong force that holds atomic nuclei together. “Nominations formally close on February 1. There are ways to stretch the rules, but evidently the relevant decision-makers felt that there was not sufficient reason to do so in this case.”

Wilczek emphasized that he has no inside information about the Nobel decision process, but said, “I think an award for Higgs particle theory is the odds-on favorite for next year.”

Mather, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said he had “no real idea about why the Higgs boson didn’t win this year,” but that the workings of the Nobel committee will ultimately be revealed. “Wait 50 years for the Nobel archives to be opened up for inspection.”

5 Alternatives of Youtube | See what you will pick next

5 Alternatives of Youtube | See what you will pick next

There’s absolutely no doubt that the rise and popularity of online video sharing is changing the way brands and individuals market, advertise and sell. If your company hasn’t already jumped into the fray with a video (or 10), you’re missing out on a massive market. If you’ve scripted, created, edited, and uploaded, it’s fairly shortsighted to “YouTube it” and forget it, as there are a number of other video hosting options available.

Believe it or not, YouTube is not the be all/end all when it comes to online video sharing. Sure, they have the world’s largest share of the market, and should be included in your upload and sharing strategy, but by jumping into the biggest pool on the planet, you’re also running the risk of being swallowed up in all the noise. Last year this time, we gave you 6 Awesome Alternatives to YouTube and now we’re giving you 5 more YouTube-alternative video sharing sites that you and your brand might want to consider.

Vimeo

An active and vibrant community, Vimeo’s smooth-as-silk interface just feels a bit more user friendly than the cold sterility we’ve come to expect from Google products. A platform pulling down some serious traffic, as Vimeo has grown they’ve still managed to retain that “we’re all in this together” community feeling. I’ve personally had far more interactions with viewers and converted clients on Vimeo than I’ve ever had on YouTube.

Vimeo’s free account allows users to upload one HD video a week, more than most individuals will ever have a need (or budget) for, and you receive basic controls when it comes to the video player. Embedding options are limited to SD, but if you step things up to the Plus account for $59.99/yr. you’re granted a 5GB/week file size limit, priority uploading and processing, and HD embedding.

If you’re planning on using Vimeo as your main hosting platform of choice for your business, they’re pretty clear when it comes to the “non-commercial use” language for free accounts. On the upside, for a low $199/yr., the Vimeo Pro service offers just about every option under the sun, and you’ll never have to worry about tablet compatibility as all flavors of Vimeo are offered in HTML5 format with Flash as a fallback.

Flickr

Flickr. It’s not just for still images. A seriously under represented offering from Flickr’s side, as there’s no mention of the service anywhere on the main landing page, Flickr does, in fact, offer and provide video hosting.

A free Flickr account allows for 2 uploads a months with restrictions of 90 seconds max, and 150MB per video. Probably enough for most small businesses, but if you want to go for the HD experience, you’ll need to step it up to a Flickr Pro account.

Perhaps the best bang-for-your-video/photo-buck on the Internet today, for as low as $25/year, if you make Flickr your video hosting platform of choice, you’ll be privy to not only an unlimited number of photos, but an unlimited number of video uploads, bandwidth, and storage. The downside? Even with the pro account Flickr limits your video length to 90 seconds. Having said that, unless you’re producing a full length feature, you shouldn’t really be stretching your message beyond this point anyway.

Slideshare

Another, “Really? They do video?”, but believe it or not, when you step your Slideshare membership up to the Silver level at $19/month, you’re allowed up to 10 video uploads/month.

In exchange for this monthly fee, you’ve got 10, 500MB videos per month to play with, with no runtime limits. If you’ve ever output an .mp4, you’ll realize that a 500MB file size and no time limit is huge! If you want to, these lack of restrictions can enable entire webinars, courses, sales programs, etc. to be uploaded and presented on a very “business focused” platform.

Slideshare also offers a unique lead capture mechanism, as well as a fully suite of branding tools. The one major oversight that I could find with using Slideshare as your video hosting platform is the “HD support coming soon!” message. Not quite an epic fail, but in today’s world of 4k looming just around the corner, lack of HD is a bit of deal breaker.

Screencast by TechSmith

Not great with a camera, or scripting, or acting? No problem. There’s no one out there saying that you’ve got to pull off the next Spielberg title to produce a powerful message and reap the rewards. Sometimes, nothing more than a well-explained and demonstrated screen cast of your app or service is all it takes.

There are a number of solutions on there today that can help you produce screencasts, but I’ve yet to come across one simpler than TechSmith’s Camtasia. A relatively inexpensive initial investment, Camtasia offers users a number of powerful tools, and when used in conjunction with Screencast.com Pro account makes for an excellent “soup to nuts” solution for creating and publishing your works. A $99/year pro account offers 25GB of storage, 200GB of bandwidth, and customizable branding options. If file size is your concern, rest assured, most screencasts are minuscule in terms of MB’s, and 25GB of storage and 200GB of bandwidth is more than enough.

Animoto

Hands down, the best service for those that have yet to create any online video. Instead of simply providing a platform to host your video, Animoto takes things to the next level and offers users a suite of creation tools that produce some stunning results.

The premise circles around uploading a series of images, selecting a theme from a number of presets, and letting Animoto do the heavily lifting for you. I’ll admit, what took me 20 minutes to create in Animoto might have well taken a few hours to animate, find music for, title, etc.

However, Animoto’s services aren’t specifically limited to creating videos from your photos, as video and audio uploads/inclusion are also available. The free service limits your videos to 30 seconds, offers an “available HD upgrade”, and 600+music tracks. Stepping things up to $30/yr. you can create feature length videos, as well as download your creations to be used offline.

Going for the big package, at $249, pricier than Vimeo’s top shelf option, Animoto Pro offers just about everything you could imagine including full length feature videos, exclusive themes to choose from, and additional 500 music tracks (1,100+ in total), included HD options, download ability, and the key feature: a white label option allowing for customized branding, both on and off site.

Obviously, there are a many, many more video hosting options on the market today, and these five are just scratching the service. Another important point to keep in mind is the geolocale of your audience. If you’re working with a Japanese language specialist and filmmaker to present to this audience, maybe YouTube isn’t your best option.

Likewise, when investigating alternative video sharing sites, be sure to take the temperature of the community. For example, Blip.tv almost made my list, as they offer a number of awesome options, but I felt as though the platform is more focused on hosting web series. If that’s the route you choose to go, then by all means, go have a look.

Remember, if and when you’re going to put the effort into producing video to promote your message (or self) look beyond the biggest fish in the pond, as some of these smaller, more intimate communities and platforms might be the perfect launch pad for your message. Happy shooting!

The Ultimate Guide for Creating Strong Passwords

The Ultimate Guide for Creating Strong Passwords

“Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months” – Clifford Stoll

When you create an account on a website, you may have the “password dilemma” for a second. The dilemma is whether you should provide a weak password that is easy to remember or a strong password that is hard to remember. Following are the rules and guidelines that may help you in overcoming the password dilemma and help you in creating a strong password that are secure. These are the things that I’ve used over years based on my own interest in the area of keeping the password safe and secure.

Two essential password rules:

Following two rules are bare minimal that you should follow while creating a password.

Rule 1 – Password Length: Stick with passwords that are at least 8 characters in length. The more character in the passwords is better, as the time taken to crack the password by an attacker will be longer. 10 characters or longer are better.

Rule 2 – Password Complexity: Should contain at least one character from each of the following group. At least 4 characters in your passwords should be each one of the following.

  1. Lower case alphabets
  2. Upper case alphabets
  3. Numbers
  4. Special Characters

I call the above two rules combined as “8 4 Rule” (Eight Four Rule):

  • 8 = 8 characters minimum length
  • 4 = 1 lower case + 1 upper case + 1 number + 1 special character.

Just following the “8 4 Rule” will be a huge improvement and instantly make your password much stronger than before for most of you who don’t follow any guidelines or rules while creating a passwords. If your banking and any financially sensitive website passwords doesn’t follow the “8 4 Rule”, I strongly suggest that you stop everything now and change those passwords immediately to follow the “8 4 Rule”.

II. Guidelines for creating strong passwords:

  1. Follow “8 4 Rule”. Like I mentioned above this is the foundation of creating a strong password.
  2. Unique Characters. Should contain at least 5 unique characters. You already have 4 different character if you’ve followed “8 4 Rule”.
  3. Use Password Manager. Strong passwords are hard to remember. So, as part of creating a strong password you need a reliable and trustworthy way of remembering the strong password. Using password management tool to store passwords should really become a habit. Anytime you create a password, note it down on a password manager tool, that will encrypt the password and store it safe for you. I recommend Password Dragon, a free, easy and secure password manager that works on Windows, Linux and Mac. This can also be launched from the USB drive. There are lot of free password manager tools available, choose the one that best suites your taste and use it.
  4. Use Passphrase. If you don’t want to use password management tool, Use Passphrase to easily remember the passwords. You can use initials of a song or a phrase that are very familiar to you. for e.g. “Passwords are like underwears, change yours often!” phrase can be converted to a strong password “Prlu,Curs0!”

III. Guidelines for avoiding weak passwords.

Avoid the following in your passwords. Even part of your passwords should not be anything in the following items.

  1. Password same as username or part of the username
  2. Name of family members, friends or pets.
  3. Personal information about yourself or family members. This includes the generic information that can be obtained about you very easily, such as birth date, phone number, vehicle license plate number, street name, apartment/house number etc.
  4. Sequences. i.e consecutive alphabets, numbers or keys on the keyboard. for e.g. abcde, 12345, qwert.
  5. Dictionary words. Dictionary words with number or character in front or back
  6. Real word from any language
  7. Word found in dictionary with number substitution for word look alike. for e.g. Replacing the letter O with number 0. i.e passw0rd.
  8. Any of the above in reverse sequence
  9. Any of the above with a number in front or back.
  10. Empty password

IV. Common sense about passwords:

All the following points are nothing new and very much common sense. But most of the time, we tend to ignore these items.

  1. Create unique password every time. When you are changing a password for an existing account, it should not be the same as the previous password. Also, do not use incremental passwords while changing it. i.e password1, password2 etc.
  2. Change your passwords for all your accounts once every 6 months. Since passwords have a fixed length, a brute-force attack to guess the password will always succeed if enough time and processing power was available to the attacker. So, it is always recommended to change the passwords often. Schedule an recurring appointment on your calendar to change your passwords once every 6 months.
  3. Never write down your passwords. Creating a very strong password and writing it down on a paper is as bad as creating an easy to remember weak password and not writing it down anywhere. There are several interesting surveys done on this subject, where it was found that several people write down the password and keep it somewhere next to the computer. Some of them think keeping the post-it note below the mouse pad is secure enough. You should never write down the password on a paper. If you want to carry your password along with you all the times, use a password manager tool that runs from USB stick and take that with you all the times.
  4. Don’t share with anyone. Anyone includes your friends and family. Probably you might have heard the phrase “Passwords are like underwear, don’t share with anybody”. We teach our kids several things in life. Teaching them about online safety and not sharing the password with anybody should be one of them.
  5. Never keep the same password for two different sites. It is very tempting to create one set of passwords for all your emails, another password for all the banking sites, another password for all the social networking sites etc. Avoid this temptation and keep unique passwords for all your accounts.
  6. Don’t type your password when someone is looking over your shoulder. This is especially very important if you type slowly and search for the letters in the keyboard and type with one finger, as it is very easy for someone looking over your shoulder to figure out the password.
  7. Never send your password to anybody in an email. If you follow #3 mentioned above, this should not be an option. But the reason I’m specifically saying about this is because several hackers send emails as a support person and asking for your user name and password through email. Legitimate website or organization will never ask you for your user name and password either via email or over telephone.
  8. Change password immediately when they are compromised. Even if you have the slightest doubt that someone might have stolen your password, change it immediately. Don’t even waste a minute.
  9. Don’t use the “Remember password” option on the browser without setting the Master Password. Don’t use this feature of the browser to store your username and passwords without enabling the “Master Password” option. If you don’t set master password on the firefox browser, anybody who uses your firefox browser can see all the passwords that are stored in the firefox browser in plain text. Also, be very careful with this option and say ‘Not Now’ in the remember password pop-up, when you are using a system that doesn’t belong to you.
  10. Don’t type your password on a computer that does not belong to you. If possible, don’t use someone else computer that you don’t trust to login to any website, especially to very sensitive website such as banking. It is a very common practice for hackers to use key loggers that will log all the key strokes on a system, which will capture everything you type including the passwords.

Please leave your comments about this post. If you follow different methods or rules for creating a strong password, please share them with everybody in the comments.