PC Doctor October 23, 2009

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 Dear PC Doctor:


    Last week someone hacked my Facebook account, and changed the password. I have since recovered the account, and set a new password. What can I do to strengthen my passwords, to prevent this from happening again? Thanks!




Dear  Jeff,


    Good to hear you have everything straightened out on your Facebook account. Now to strengthen that password! The ideal password is one that you'll never forget, but no one else (even family members) could guess. Avoid using names of pets, relatives, or the name of a favorite football quarterback. These are fairly easy for a hacker, after a little research, to guess. Also hacker's use huge lists of commonly used passwords to bombard your log in, until one happens to work. The longer, more complicated your password is; the less common it is. My favorite technique for creating passwords is to use password phrases. They're easy to remember, but much harder to hack. Instead of simply using "Butch", the name of the family dog, use a phrase. Such as: ButchLovesFuzzyBalls. This is a strong password, and also easy to remember. A derivative of this technique that makes the password even stronger; but also easy to remember, is to use the first letters of each word in a phrase. First create and memorize a unique phrase, such as: Butch Loves Green Fuzzy Balls That Bounce Up And Down. Taking the first letter of each word, you now have "blgfbtbuad" as a password. In my opinion, the wackier the phrase; the easier it will be to remember, and all the harder for it to be hacked. You can also add your lucky number at the beginning or the end to make it even harder. 


PC Doctor


Dear PC Doctor:

            Sometimes I hear people talking about Favorites and Bookmarks while they are talking about searching on the Internet.  What is the difference?


Dear Abby:

            Well, they are actually the same thing.  Favorites is the term used in Internet Explorer while Bookmarks is the term used to describe the same thing in Mozilla Firefox and some other browsers.  Other than the name, that they perform the same function.

                        PC Doctor


PC Doctor's Tip of the Week: Save 15 Keystrokes


    Tired of the hassle of typing out  www. or .com whenever you visit a website? Here's a neat tip that will you save 15 keystrokes every time you visit a website. On most internet browsers, (such as Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari, GoogleChrome), hitting the Ctrl + Enter buttons together will auto fill in the http://, the www., and the .com. As an example, here's how to visit the Athol Daily News website via this method. Type in the address bar the web name of the website, atholdailynews. Now hit Ctrl + Enter. And presto!  www. and .com will be automatically added, loading /www.atholdailynews.com/.


Until next time… happy computing!