Bits from Bill: We Have Your Password & We Own You


By Bill Pytlovany

Every few months I like to write about passwords and backups just to remind everyone how important these issues can be. While I’d like to remind you again to review your backup policies, I really want to stress some common sense password protection.

I’m sure you all know enough not to use your kids or pets names for passwords but do you use different passwords for every different site you visit online? If not, you could be in real danger and you’re putting everyone else in danger too. STOP IT!

Last week an employee of Twitter had their account compromised and internal business documents were stolen. The documents were actually offered for sale on the internet. The Twitter server wasn’t “hacked”, it was accessed using the employees name and password. Seems the employee used the same password on another online site.


This post is excerpted with Bill P’s permission from his blog

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11 thoughts on “Bits from Bill: We Have Your Password & We Own You”

  1. I keep an address book with all the passwords in. So the websites are listed in alphabetical order and the passwords are next to them!

  2. I have a few “unsecure” passwords. These could be used for entering a local news forum to a Yahoo mail account that I use when I need to give an email address for some senseless website. The other passwords for banks and the like are off-line, written down.

  3. I agree with William.
    I lost chatsite accounts through password theft but really … who cares … it taught me how they steal them and got me to reevaluate my time wasting habit of chatting with people I don’t know and will never meet.

  4. I use an old version of roboform ( Ver 5.7.6 you can still find it on the net for download…it has an error that is fixed in later versions, which is, it lets you into the advanced tab to make changes, make sure you shut off the updater, once it updates you cant roll back ) plus it allows 30 passcards per person and you can create multiple idents so its endless !!! It has a password generator and you can password protect the whole thing or just certain sites. The generator though will formulate uncrackable passwords and allows you to set parameters and incorporate special characters or numbers or symbols. An added piece of security…go foreign !!! In windows XP under all programs/accessories/system tools you will find a character map and you can throw foreign symbols or letters in your password. After creating your pass, copy it to a word doc, name it, burn to cd, then erase from hard drive. You can also password protect that ! Also should password protect boot screen !!! Just write them all down, make a powerpoint presentation to store them or an excel spreadsheet works too !!! Don’t forget your ginko-boloba for your memory to help remember it all !!!

  5. I disagree. I think using the same password for sites that have demand a password but really don’t need password protection is fine. Too many webmasters think their site is more important than it really is and demand passwords when they are not really needed or a matter of security. On the other hand, passwords for banks, credit cards, and such demand that they be unique and difficult to break. It is important to differentiate what you are trying to secure! My money is a lot more important than someone breaking into my CNN forum.

  6. As the technology develops, network widens, more and more business and services enter online it becomes imperative to create new passwords every now and then. How to remember all these passwords is the crucial issue here given that it is not advisable to store passwords in a text or document file in the hard disk! Yes, having the same password for different sites is definitely risky. But, who would find a solution to this?

  7. I read the above article by Bill regarding passwords and while reading it I was shaking my head in complete agreement. I for one am not a computer guru, in fact I have been in cyberspace for just about 9 years and I started out from the get go with common sense when it came to passwords. I NEVER use common spelling when it comes to passwords. I always tie them into something that is personal to me or my family. And I keep them stored in a hardbound book.
    What irks me the most is websites that ask you challenge questions to help identify you when you return to their site such as banks, etc. For the most part they ask such lame questions as the name of your first pet, where were you were born, etc. Why can’t they be more original or at least let the user set their own question?? And when I doi answer their lame question(s) I never use common spelling. And yes I write them in the book as well.
    I don’t as a rule use the same password for more than one site, but if I should you can bet they wouldn’t be spelled the same LOL.

  8. The easy answer here is to use a protected password program. I have used Password Keeper from Gregory Braun for years and keep a copy on a thumbdrive when I travel.

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