Twitter Security Breach…A Reminder About Keeping Passwords Secure

Yesterday it was announced that a Twitter employees e-mail account was hacked into.

The person who hacked into it was able to get a lot of information about the company, including its long range plans and estimated revenue growth.

This brings up a few things that I always like to remind those I teach…

1. Install  anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer. Make sure that it’s being updated on a daily basis and is running a full system scan at least once a week. Yes, even if you have a MAC…they’re not 100% secure. Spend that $19-$30 a year for the update subscriptions, it’s chump change compared to the time and money you’ll spend getting your  computer made virus free.

2. Your data is not 100% secure on the internet, or even on your computer. If there’s something you would never want the whole world to see, then don’t keep it on your computer.

3. Use unique passwords that include numbers and varying characters.

4. Don’t use the same password for online shopping, as you would for financial accounts such as e-trade, online banking, online credit card account. While I know that the online merchants have a good deal of security they’re not required to be as secure as the online sites for financial institutions. The financial institutions have to implement more security thanks to the many regulations imposed by the federal government. Although that hasn’t kept them from being hit either.

5. If you’re not sure about something that was sent to you, don’t click or open it. Check with the person its supposed to be from to make sure they sent it. Most of the viruses and re-directs to websites that will infect your computer with a virus have language that is often misspelled or just sounds odd. This goes for text messages you get on your phone as well. Remember…your phone is a mini-computer.

You can read articles on the incident:

Here – http://technologizer.com/2009/07/15/with-online-passwords-dishonesty-can-be-the-best-policy/

and here – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/16/technology/internet/16twitter.html

Let’s be safe out there folks!

Google Chrome – The Next Best OS?

Late Tuesday Google announced that they’re working on an open-sourced OS based on the Google Chrome browser that they’ve released for Windows.

While I’m surprised that they announced it late Tuesday (you would think they’d announce it early in the morning in time for the morning news shows) I’m not surprised that they’re working on this.

Since Google has been in existence we’ve seen them create a lot of really great programs which have all been FREE. Google Earth, G-Mail, Google Apps, etc. They’ve also constantly worked to improve and add little enhancements here and there to the programs over the years.

Google Chrome OS is supposed to be a lightweight, open-source operating system that is supposed to just make things work, and work fast. Google Chrome apps will be based on web technologies, so if a software developer writes it for Chrome, it will also work on Windows, MAC, and Linux machines.

Perhaps the best part of the announcement was this…

“We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear — computers need to get better. People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up. They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them. They want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files. Even more importantly, they don’t want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates. And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet.”

Wow. A company listening to technology customers, even better they’re putting their money where their mouth is.

Granted Apple has been doing a pretty good job about listening to its customers…just look at the new iPhone 3Gs.

I am looking forward to this new OS and how it will impact technology and how we’re all connected.

To read the full announcement click HERE. You can also read the currently very brief Google Chrome OS FAQ HERE.

…and in related news both G-Mail and Google Apps have FINALLY broken free of their “BETA” status. It only took a couple of years right? 🙂