Posts Tagged ‘identity theft’

A Communications Alert –or Communiclert – from Write Good! The Blog

Because of the vast amount of extraordinarily sensitive data that flows through Write Good!: The Blog Central Command, security is our watchword. Sadly, “security” is also our password, which is why our servers are hacked almost hourly.

With a tip of our hat to corporate negligence, we felt it urgent to alert our readers to the recently released annual list of the 25 Worst Passwords of the Year published by the Internet security firm SplashData. How refreshing to be reassured that average citizens can be every bit as knuckle-draggingly stupid as the top minds at Write Good!

According to the survey, the three worst password choices remain unchanged from 2011, the most popular password being…heh…“password”, followed by…heh, he-heh!…“123456”, and then by…hee-hee, heh-heh…Sorry…then by…by…HA! Hahahahahaha…by “12345678”. Hahahahaha! Oh, my dear God! Hahaha hehehehe, heh-heh (sniff).

But dropping from seventh place to thirteenth this year is the password “1234567”.

BWAH-HAHAhahahahaha…Oh, that made the milk come out of Write Good!’s nose!

Humorous though it may be to think about the easy access hackers have to our military’s nuclear arsenal, there is a serious side to password protection. Shocking security breaches were revealed this year against such high profile companies as Yahoo, LinkedIn, and music website Last.fm.
Even at eHarmony scores of passwords were compromised, leading to confusing matchups between single, professional men, 25- to 35-years old, and retired pieces of surplus mining equipment—relationships, sadly, that didn’t last beyond three dates.

Note how the pictures go with the words. Wow, that Internet!

Bewildering speed dating mixer between single men and used excavating equipment. Injuries were reported.

While no password is completely secure, steps can be taken to create one that is nearly as impenetrable as a conventional shower curtain. Given enough time and resources a committed hacker can crack any password. Thus, your strategy is to confound and discourage him with a password so unique that even you can’t remember it.

While there is no perfect password, the closest is AjE2#&bE-)9KEpRll# created and used successfully for years by Abigail Sherhonner, a human resources coordinator with Palmanteri Trucking Services Corporation in Belleville, Illinois, where she has lived for more than 20 years with husband, Ralph, at 2234 W. Willowdale Rd.

Phone number 815-404-2580.

Now that Write Good! thinks about it, perhaps releasing personal information about Abigail was a tad hasty, security-wise. Thus, it is our fervent hope that she gets word of this and changes her password. Soon!

A variety of strategies can be found for creating a “robust” password – that is, a password that doesn’t wheeze or hunch but jogs every morning and benches 220. Weak passwords are easily predictable – short phrases, names of pets, letters only – while strong passwords are characterized by their willingness to lead the U.S into an escalated ground war in Afghanistan.

Generally speaking, the name of your pet makes an insecure password as so many pets, once captured by the enemy, spill all your secrets. Especially cats. Instead, employ terms or phrases that are completely random.

Yes, this photo makes sense if you read the blog. Otherwise, sorry.

Early model of a random password generator that, unfortunately, also flings feces.

The difficulty in creating a random phrase is that you have to think up one, and once you start thinking about it, it never feels random enough. The trick to generating a random term is to sneak up on it – sort of catch it out of the corner of your eye. Beer helps.

SINGLE MAN: (in a bar on a date) “It’s such a pleasure to finally meet you!”
SINGLE WOMAN: (or possibly a piece of surplus mining equipment) “Same here! So many single guys I meet are just sort of, I don’t know, odd.”
SINGLE MAN: “Really? Odd in what way?”
SINGLE WOMAN: “Oh, they just seem to have a randomness to their—”
SINGLE WOMAN: (nervous pause) “Um…are you…ok?”
SINGLE MAN: “Absolutely! I was just thinking about something else. Please, go on.”
SINGLE WOMAN: “Oh! All right. I was just saying that some men I’ve met generate a certain random—“
SINGLE WOMAN: “Check, please!”

Prepared now with security that will subjugate even the most pernicious of identity thieves, you must face a far more daunting challenge – how the Hell to remember your passwords.

The traditional method is to stick Post-it notes all over your computer – an acceptable security measure if you live alone in a hardened missile silo 200 feet beneath the Bonneville Salt Flats. A more sophisticated solution is to employ password management software that keeps track of passwords right on your computer. Still, can you really trust a computer with passwords? Wasn’t it computers that welcomed in Yahoo’s hackers like a high school sophomore whose parents are out of town?

No, Write Good! is confident of only one method for safely securing your passwords, and it is a strategy as cunning as it is infallible. First, focus your thinking on this one thing: true security requires—


Sorry. Write Good! was thinking about something else.

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, www.davejaffecomm.com is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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