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Protecting Yourself on the Internet

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protecting yourself on the internet

Hi everyone,

I’ve literally only just realised that tomorrow is the anniversary of my first ever blog post! Wow, what a ride! I’m still not quite where I’d like to be, but I’ve achieved so much and am constantly growing. I’ve hit many milestones both in my journey in Internet marketing and here on my blog. I’m very pleased to say that this post is yet another milestone. It is featuring my first ever guest post! It’s a follow-on from my previous post that talked about ensuring that your WordPress username isn’t visible to the world.

So, without further ado, please welcome I.T. security expert, Ben Solomon to eMoneyAvenue. He has kindly contributed the following article about the importance of choosing wisely when it comes to usernames and passwords. I’m sure that you’ll find his content informative and useful. Please show your appreciation by commenting below, rating and sharing.

Glenn

iPro_Goldsm

Protecting Yourself on the Internet – By Ben Solomon

 

protecting yourself on the internetComing from an IT system administration and network security background, some of the practices I encounter on a daily basis make me cringe. Most computer users do not understand the risks they put themselves in.

When working with customers, I notice that they have high privilege accounts having default usernames, like – administrator, admin etc. To add to this, most times these high privilege accounts are protected by easy-to-guess passwords and, in some cases, no passwords.

So what would be considered a weak password?

Any password that is less than 7 characters long and is a word or combination of words that can be found in the dictionary, or is a sequence of numbers.

How can you create a strong password that is easy to remember?

My tips for my customers generally is that they create a password that is at least 8 characters long and includes one of each of the following:

  1. Alphabet in CAPS – A, B, C …. Z
  2. Alphabet in small – a, b, c …. z
  3. Numbers – 1, 2, 3 …. 0
  4. Symbols – !, @, #, $, etc.

Optionally, one can add a space between words in their password, in addition to the above.

The best way to create a password that makes sense to you and is easy to remember is by substituting letters with numbers.

An example of a weak password could be – cooldog.

To make it strong and memorable it could be converted to any of the following combinations, or more:

  1. Myd0g15c00l!
  2. Myd0gisc00l!

Etc.

Some systems (I’ve noticed a version of Wishlist Member) do not allow us to use symbols as part of the password. In such cases you could add a space between the words like below:

  1. My d0g 15 c00l
  2. My d0g is c00l

Etc.

Another thing that would help in staying better protected while on the Internet is avoiding saving your passwords on your Internet browser. This is because, if your Internet browser (be that Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or any of the myriad of others out there) is compromised (which is quite easy), there is a good chance that your stored passwords can be compromised. To avoid this, you could use an independent program like LastPass, but I personally prefer not to use any automated tools for this – yet.

Always be careful and never send your passwords by email or text message and do not share your passwords with others. If you are outsourcing something and the outsourcer needs access to your system, create a lower privilege account that only allows them enough privileges to get the job done. And once the job is complete, change the password to prevent access to that account.

protecting yourself on the internetI hope these tips help you in staying safe and secure on the Internet. Especially with more and more data moving onto the ‘cloud’, it is critical that we take all possible measures to keep ourselves safe.

That said, if you are sharing a computer with others, please create separate accounts for each user and educate them on having strong passwords as well. Please pass on this education about having strong passwords to all your friends and family to help them keep safe. Please have strong passwords on every account you have (e-mails, WordPress, social media, etc). All it takes is one weak link to allow for your passwords to be compromised.

Stay safe.

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33 thoughts on “Protecting Yourself on the Internet

    1. Hi Linda,

      Thanks for checking out this post and for leaving a comment. 🙂

      Ben really does know his stuff and I’m very thankful for him taking the time out to provide this info. There’s a whole load of stuff that we should really be making sure we’re on top of if using WordPress. I’m really hoping to have my long-overdue, free video course out any day now and I go over some of the security precautions we can take in a couple of modules in there.

      Thanks again for dropping by. I hope you’re keeping well. 🙂

      »Glenn«
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Check Out This Big Orange!My Profile

  1. Great to see you’re still blogging one year on. I bet you have so pro tips to share by now.
    Also loving the guest post by Ben. It is so easy to be lazy with your security. Especially with tools like lastpass which I use. But I combine it with my own system for remembering very long form passwords so if I am ever without LP I can still quickly log in.
    luke corden recently posted…12 Rules I Live By (What are yours?)My Profile

    1. Hey Luke,

      Great to see you, buddy.

      You’re right, it is so easy to be lazy with your security but oh how important it is to keep on top of it. It’s unfortunate that so many people only realise this when it’s too late.

      Yep, one year on and still going strong. I intend to still be here in another year and hope to have some nice success stories to share throughout that time 🙂

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. Have a great weekend and drop by anytime.

      Kind regards,
      Glenn
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Get My Brand New, Free E-Book!My Profile

  2. Hey Glenn
    I always forget to come over here because you don’t post so often :>
    That is my excuse.
    Anyway, good tips for the unwary. It sure is amazing how many people don’t change default passwords, or use their name or best friend or dog’s name. Then hackers can get in quite easily. I even had a girl once tell me she had a problem because of this. No surprises really, but I quickly informed her how silly she had been and why it was dangerous.
    Hopefully she learnt that lesson :>
    ashley
    Ashley Faulkes recently posted…Keyword Research Tips – Keep it SimpleMy Profile

    1. Hey Ashley,

      Always a pleasure to see you, my man 🙂

      It’s interesting that you should mention the frequency of my posts. Up to now I’ve just been posting as and when I’ve felt the impulse. However, I’m going to be changing this. If there’s something I feel compelled to share or if there’s something important that I want to post then I’ll still post as and when, but apart from that I’m going to be endeavouring to post regularly. At the moment, I’m planning to make this a weekly event, each Thursday. So look out for a post coming this Thursday! 😉

      You’re so right, it’s just staggering how many people leave themselves wide open to hackers, viruses, trojan horses, etc. As a PC engineer I’ve lost count of just how many computers I’ve had to fix over the years as a result of this. “What firewall are you using?” I have asked. “Erm…… what?” is the usual reply. “What antivirus are you using?” is my next question. “Oh, I just let Windows do it” is a common response.

      Whether it be due to carelessness or people just being ignorant to the dangers, the more we can help them to arm and protect themselves, the better.

      Thanks for stopping by (eventually lol! :-p). I hope all is well with you.

      Regards,
      Glenn
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Get My Brand New, Free E-Book!My Profile

  3. Hi glen,

    Congrats on the anniversary of your first Blog post Glen & great post Ben.

    I too was once victim of hackers all because of the cpanel simple scripts set-ups.
    What I was to find out that by using the cpanel setup you install WordPress with more privileges than is actually needed, which is a huge security flaw.

    I now install all my WordPress sites manually and only add the correct privileges that wordpress needs. I also use unique keys & salts as well as changing the table prefix.

    I also use a few tools to create secure usernames & passwords as well as databases. Last pass and RoboForm are great tools for this and a breeze to backup.

    For WordPress I think BulletProofSecurity is a fantastic plugin for added security and just recently found another Awesome backup clone plugin called Duplicator.

    ~Wayne
    Wayne Rodden recently posted…Your PLR PlatformMy Profile

    1. Hi Wayne,

      Thanks for stopping by, buddy.

      You’re spot-on about the security flaws with the default cPanel installation. It’s so important to get up-to-speed about how best to protect oneself online.

      Thanks for mentioning what you’re using, it’s always helpful for people to learn about what’s out there and what works. I also use Bulletproof Security and it’s been great so far – hopefully it will carry on keeping me safe!

      Thanks for your comment, stop by any time 🙂

      Kind regards,
      Glenn
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…2 Keys to SuccessMy Profile

    1. Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, great to see you here 🙂

      Sorry to hear about your sites being hacked, I hope you were able to recover well from that. Internet security is so very important and even if we take the best measures we can it can sometimes still not be enough. The microbes who do that sort of thing just don’t seem to appreciate or, more to the point, even care about the damage and upset they cause.

      Thanks for joining the conversation, it’s much appreciated. Keep in touch, buddy.

      Regards,
      Glenn
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Get My Brand New, Free E-Book!My Profile

  4. Hi Glenn and Ben

    Glenn, firstly congratulations on your one year anniversary. It’s not to be sniffed at as many people give up after the first couple of months!

    Ben, thank you for some ideas on password creation. I must admit I’m feeling a little guilty here as I tend to use the same one for everything so I can remember it.

    I do have LastPass as well though so that might be an easy way for me to remember things.
    Tim Bonner recently posted…How To Promote Your Blog PostsMy Profile

    1. Hey Tim,

      Thanks, buddy. I think it’s those first few months that can prove to be the most challenging to a lot of people. I most certainly won’t be giving up (so heads up everyone, I’m here for the long haul!) and can’t even imagine how I would do so now. The only way is up! (gah, I wish I hadn’t thought of that – I’ve got Yazz going round my head now…)

      Thanks Tim,
      Glenn
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…2 Keys to SuccessMy Profile

    2. Hey Tim,

      Thanks for your comments.

      In reality, we’ve all been guilty of it at some point or the other. It’s taking action after becoming aware, is what matters.

      I pity the many people I work with who, don’t take the advice we offer and then end up with compromised emails and other accounts.

      All we can do is spread the word and make everyone we know aware of the dangers. 🙂
      Ben Solomon recently posted…My First Guest Post – Protect Yourself on the InternetMy Profile

  5. Glenn and Ben,

    That was some great and useful information about protecting yourself online. It’s so easy for us to just pick something simple and easy to remember but sometimes not taking into consideration that there are MEAN and EVIL people out there trying to hurt us (in so many ways).

    I gotta admit though. I am kinda guilty of taking the easy route, but have since started using a password management system as well called 1-Password. I just need to remember the password to it…right? LOL. Thanks for the contribution and keep up the great work.
    Jerry Handy Sr. recently posted…Split Testing…How critical is it?My Profile

    1. Hey Jerry,

      You’re absolutely right, sadly there are some downright evil people out there who just don’t care who they hurt or how. If we can do something to protect ourselves against any online attacks then we need to avail ourselves of it.

      I haven’t heard of 1-Password before, so that’s two new password management systems I’ve learned of in one evening! I’ll be sure to check out this one too.

      Thanks for your great comment, Jerry 🙂

      Regards,
      Glenn
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Are You Broadcasting Your Log-In Details to the World?My Profile

    2. Hey Jerry,

      Thank you. It’s great to know that the information has been useful for you.

      Yeah there are way too many people with too much time on their hands, that try cracking passwords.

      I can understand, taking the easy route (I’m often tempted, but know the consequences).

      Had never heard of 1-password before. Thanks for mentioning that. Will check it out. 🙂
      Ben Solomon recently posted…My First Guest Post – Protect Yourself on the InternetMy Profile

  6. Great stuff Glenn!
    I used to have pretty much one password for everything but always had that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that if someone discovered that then I’d be screwed. Then I started using different passwords for everything but then couldn’t remember them – talk about a catch-22! I eventually ended up using a password management program called Roboform, and totally recommend it to anyone as now I only need to remember one password to let me into that (albeit one big-ass properly complicated password with all sorts of character types, haha!).

    Cheers,
    James

    1. Hey James,

      I know the feeling mate. I work a day job as an IT SysAdmin. We’ve got a myriad of passwords to remember, and add to that all the online accounts I have for Internet Marketing. Roboform, like lastpass have been in the password management business for a long time.

      They definitely help, but I still haven’t started using any password management as I’m still a little bit paranoid about it all. But as things move forward, I’ll have to start using one, as it’s getting to a point of it being ridiculous the nmber of passwords I have to remember at one given moment, and add to that they get changed every 90 odd days. 🙂

      Thanks for the reminder about RoboForm. 🙂
      Ben Solomon recently posted…My First Guest Post – Protect Yourself on the InternetMy Profile

      1. Hey Ben, you’re so right about the paranoia thing mate. I suppose now would be a good time to say that whilst I’ve got around 40-50 passwords saved within Roboform, I’ve still kept my main email login, my bank login and my PayPal login details off there and saved securely in my mind – just in case, haha! 😉

  7. Great tips, Ben.

    I have never thought about using phrases for passwords (Well, phrases with a mixture of numbers and symbols). That is a really great idea (makes it easier to remember too!). I am definitely going to try it 😉

    I try to change my passwords – especially important things such as email every now and then (right now, once or twice an year…). I don’t usually pick stronger passwords for general accounts (Games, tools and so forth – accounts that doesn’t have anything “useful”).

    By the way, Congrats on the achievement, Glenn 🙂 First year is definitely the hardest!

    1. Hi Jeevan,

      I learned some things from Ben’s post too. For example I’d never considered putting spaces in passwords before. Some forms won’t allow it (just as some won’t allow certain characters), but for those that do it’s certainly worth bearing in mind.

      Thanks for your congrats, Jeevan. I was just thinking today, in fact, about how sticking with this has actually given me the drive to never give up. Too many people dither around without really making a proper start (I was one of those!) or they start but don’t make a concerted effort to stick with the one thing and end up trailing off. But I think if you really just stick with things and remain consistent, you’ll end up getting to where you want to be. No matter what comes up and what hurdles get in my way, I just can’t imagine ever quitting now – it’s onwards and upwards without fail!

      Regards,
      Glenn
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…2 Keys to SuccessMy Profile

    2. Hey Jeevan,

      Thanks mate.

      Great to hear that you found it useful. 🙂

      I didn’t talk about changing passwords, but it’s recommended to do so at least once every 90 days.

      Simple passwords, even for games or tools, if they are connected to any ‘services’ like facebook or other cloud based services can be risky.

      My suggestion would be to use complex passwords for everything, just as a precaution.
      Ben Solomon recently posted…My First Guest Post – Protect Yourself on the InternetMy Profile

  8. Hey Glenn,

    You might recall, I said I finally took the plunge with your last post and set myself up with secure usernames and passwords for all my important sites.

    It’s odd really, I’ve been wanting to do it for ages as I totally understand the risk that hackers pose. I just didn’t bother. So your post inspired me to take action – thank you. PLUS I didn’t realize you could do it like that via C-Panel, so I learned something worthwhile too.

    Oddly enough, I’m now much more at ease knowing that my sites are secure. If you haven’t done it yet folks, dig out Glenn’s prior post and do it now before it’s too late for you.

    Thanks for this follow up post too Glenn – most interesting. All the best buddy,

    Paul
    Paul Henderson recently posted…The Tortoise and The HareMy Profile

    1. Hi Paul,

      I’m glad you’ve found the posts helpful, especially now that you’ve made things more secure. Glad to be of service, mate, but I can’t take credit for the follow-up post – that was all Ben’s expertise 🙂

      Keep on going and growing, buddy!

      Regards,
      Glenn
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Your Business Needs YOU!My Profile

        1. Thanks, Ben, I’ll be sure to do that. I actually come from an IT background myself but my expertise is more in the hardware side of things so if there’s anything I can think of that I think would be good to cover I’ll definitely ask you.

          Likewise, if you think of a subject and you think, “Ah, I think this would fit in nicely on Glenn’s blog” then please feel free to send it over 🙂
          Glenn Shepherd recently posted…What is Your “Because”? Eliminate Your ObstaclesMy Profile

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