Password Length Options

Here’s an interesting article on Github about the most common length for passwords. Eight characters is the most common length.

Here are some of their recommendations.

  • 8 characters is the most common length.
  • They recommend a length of 12 or 13, but if you’re using Lastpass, there’s no reason not to make longer passwords.
  • Always use special characters.
  • Longer is better.
  • Start with a special character.
  • Pad your password with special characters.
  • User upper and lower case, numbers and special characters.

 

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Netgear AC1750 (R6400)

netgearrouter -600

After three years my old router finally bit the dust and so I had to make a decision on which router to install as a replacement. The Wirecutters upgrade model, the Netgear AC1750 was the router I decided to try. Their recommended model –  TP-Link Archer C7 (v2) – had two factors against it – it’s user interface and lack of advanced controls. For $20.00 more I got those features.

Here are some notes on the installation.

  • You don’t need to run a CD anymore.
  • You don’t need an ethernet connection to do the setup.
  • I did the installation over wifi.
  • They have very clear printed instructions.
  • Routers now have a preinstalled secure wifi with its own 12 character password. For most situations this is probably ok and will keep people from forgetting to setup a secure wifi.
  • You can change the SSID and password if you wish.
  • You can also setup a secure Guest Network for friends.
  • UPnP is turned on by default – I turned this off.
  • The Administrator account still has default passwords. You will need to change these also. They also give you Security Questions to restore your account.
  • This particular router had a security flaw according to Wirecutter, but it has been patched. I’m impressed by Netgear in recognizing the problem and fixing it.
  • The router looks for updates during the installation process and downloads and installs them.
  • I did register the router to get further security updates.
  • The router seems to be as fast or slightly faster than the previous router.
  • I bought this at a local Walmart. Normallly, I would buy it at Amazon, but I wanted to install it the same day.

Note – this router is in the basement in a corner, so it’s not the best location. It does seem to work fine for all my needs in a two story house.

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Phone Call Problem

Recently on my Moto G phone, I have had a problem when I try to make a phone call.

I get a popup that shows the message below.

phone-popup - Edited

This has only been showing up for the last couple of weeks. I have not made any changes, so I assume that this is a problem caused by a Google Voice update.

I found the solution online.

  • Google Voice
  • 3 Lines icon
  • Settings
  • Phone number for outgoing calls
  • Select “No”
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Plot Multiple Locations on Google Maps

crestwood-garden-tour

I was recently in charge of a local garden tour and wanted to create a map with the garden locations marked. I found that you can do this in Google Maps, but it’s a bit circuitous.

  • Open Google Drive
  • New
  • More
  • Google My Maps

Now you start entering each address that you want to mark and then select Add to Map.
Once you have all your addresses entered, I like to color code each stop by hovering your mouse over each address and selecting a color.

When you are done, you can share the map with other people or grab a Print Screen and save it as a JPG. One thing I did to make the picture better was to grab the Print Screen on my desktop monitor and then adjust it in Photoshop to create better contrast.

 

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Phone Problem – Offline – No Network

phone-no-networkIn the last week, I have had trouble with my Moto G phone when away from home and trying to access the internet. I would get a “Offline -No Network” message.

I could make phone calls, but could not use Gmail, Calendar or any of my usual apps that required access to the internet. This occurred only when I was away from home and didn’t have access to my usual home wifi.

I immediately thought it was something I had done – some setting I had clicked on inadvertently, but that was not the case.

My answer was the standard answer that I give to friends on an almost weekly basis when they have computer problems – “Turn it off and then turn it back on.”

I did read on a T-Mobile page that they recommended to not only turn your phone off, but also to take out the battery. That would have been my second option, but it turned out I didn’t need to do that. I do know that many phones don’t allow you to remove the battery, so obviously that wouldn’t have been an option.

Hopefully, if you have this aggravating problem in the future, this simple solution will help you fix it.

 

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Is My Doctor’s Computer Safe?

I posed the question of the safety of one of my doctor’s computer recently to Leo LaPorte and The New Screen Savers show. Here’s what they said.

Below is another video where Steve Gibson talks about the safety of usb devices.

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T-Mobile Scam Protection

T-Mobile has recently started some phone scam protection, although I have not seen its benefit.
Here is the main page where T-Mobile describes the new features.

Scam ID – this theoretically will mark certain phone calls as potential scammer phone calls. I have not had ANY scam phone calls sent to my phone marked by T-Mobile. This is a free service.

Scam Block – this allows you to block phone calls from known scammers. You can turn this on/off. It may block some good phone calls, but doesn’t give you the option to white-list or black-list any numbers. The problem I see is that phone scammers are continually using new technology which will hide their true identity. This is also free.

Name ID – This costs $4/month. Add Name ID and identify any caller’s name and location. I’m not sure how this is much different than the standard Caller ID which I already have. The bad guys can also hide their real name, phone numbers and location so this is of questionable value. This also allows you to block any personal number.

 

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