Showing posts with label Secure Passwords. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Secure Passwords. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Password Alert - A Chrome Extension to Protect Your Google Account

Password Alert is a new Chrome extension that Google released less than an hour ago. The purposes of Password Alert is to alert you to phishing sites and to encourage you not use the same password on multiple services.

Password Alert tries to accomplish its goals in two ways. First, Password Alert will show you a warning message if you type your Google Account password into a non-Google site. Second, you will be encouraged by Password Alert to change your password if you are repeatedly using your Google Account password on non-Google sites.

According to Google's Online Security blog Password Alert will make Chrome save “scrambled” version of your Google Account password. And according to the same post, it only remembers this information for security purposes and doesn’t share it with anyone.

Applications for Education
Google Apps for Education administrators can push Password Alert onto users. Administrators can also set up alerts to be notified when users use their passwords on non-Google Apps sites. Administrators are also able to force users to change their passwords if they use their passwords on non-Google sites. Administrators can learn more about this on the Google Apps Updates blog.

Folks who don't use Chrome can take steps to secure their Google Accounts by using two-step verification, frequently changing their passwords, and avoiding using the same password for multiple accounts.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The 25 Worst Passwords of the Year and How to Create Better Passwords

The CNN Tech blog recently published a list of the worst passwords of 2012. The top of the list includes all of the things that you might expect like "abc123," "password," and "qwerty." Hopefully, you and your students are not using any of the passwords on the list.

But if you or one of your students are using weak password, try one of these three free tools to create a strong password. If you prefer to create your own password rather than rely on a random password generator, watch the video below for suggestions on forming strong passwords.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How Secure Is Your Password? Let's Find Out

How Secure Is My Password? is a great little site that Kern Kelley showed off at the Google Apps Bootcamp in New Hampshire today. How Secure Is My Password? allows you to see how long it would take a person or a computer to guess your password. One of my passwords would take 2 million years to crack.

Make Me A Password is the sister site to How Secure Is My Password? As the name implies, Make Me A Password will generate a secure password for you.

Applications for Education
How Secure Is My Password? could be a good tool for showing students and colleagues how strong or weak their passwords are.

Watch Common Craft's video on secure passwords for a good video overview of what makes a password secure.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Three Simple Tools for Creating Strong Passwords

Some readers may recall that last weekend I tried to explain passwords and computer viruses to my step-father. In the post about that experience I included a short video from Explania about how to craft a strong password. If after watching that video you or your students still need help creating strong passwords, here are three simple tools that will help you develop strong passwords.

One of the best ways to protect your online identity is to create strong passwords containing unique characters. Sometimes it's difficult to think of new strong passwords. When you're having a mental block thinking up a new password try PassCreator. PassCreator is a free service that helps you create a strong password. To use PassCreator just select the attributes you want your password to have (number of characters, character type, etc.) then press "create." If you don't like the password created for you, just press "create" again to generate another password.

Password Bird is a simple website that asks you three questions then generates a password for you based on your responses. Every password it generated for me included numbers and letters. If you don't like the password it generates for you, simply click the link for a new password.

If you've ever been in that place where you're stuck trying to develop a password, PassPlex is for you. PassPlex is a simple tool for generating strong and unique passwords. To use PassPlex to create a password all you have to do is enter the number of characters you need and the level of complexity you desire for your password.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Teaching Parents and Others About Passwords

In 2010 Google launched Teach Parents Tech to help people teach their parents (and others) some basic computer and web browsing skills. Teach Parents Tech is a handy site that I have used with my own parents. But last night, I played the role of in-person tech support as I tried to explain computer viruses to my step-father. He wasn't accepting my explanations so I went to my Common Craft library and pulled up Computer Viruses and Threats Explained by Common Craft.
After watching the video we talked about creating strong passwords to reduce the risk of having an account compromised. While I didn't show my step-father this video, I do think it is a good way to explain how to create strong passwords.

How to choose a safe password - Explania

Applications for Education
If you're trying to teach your parents, students, or anyone else how to protect their computers and personal information, these videos can be helpful. Sometimes just hearing the same explanation in a different voice makes  the lesson easier for an audience to remember.

Monday, February 6, 2012

15 Resources for Safer Internet Day

Tomorrow, February 7, is Safer Internet Day. The Safer Internet Day website offers offers a couple of lesson plans for appropriate for use with teens and tweens. On the same page as the lesson plans you will also find printable posters about acceptable use policies. There is a set of posters for students age six to eleven and a set of posters for students age eleven through sixteen.

Learn more about Safer Internet Day in the video below.


On the topic of web safety, below is a list of some of popular resources for teaching about web safety.

PBS Kids offers the Webonauts Academy in which elementary school students can learn about safe online behaviors. When students have completed all of the Webonauts missions they will graduate from the Webonauts Academy. The educators tips page offers some practical suggestions for using Webonauts in the classroom or in a school library.

A Thin Line is a digital safety education resource produced by MTV in collaboration with other media partners. The purpose of the site is to educate teenagers and young adults about the possible repercussions of their digital activities. A Thin Line offers a series of fact sheets about topics like sexting, digital spying, and excessive text messaging and instant messaging. A Thin Line gives students advice on how to recognize those behaviors, the dangers of those behaviors, and how to protect your digital identity. Students can also take a short quiz to practice identifying risky digital behaviors.

The Virginia Department of Education has produced an engaging and useful site for teaching students web safety lessons. Internet Safety With Professor Garfield currently offers an animated lesson on cyberbullying and an animated lesson about online safety. As you might guess from the site's title, the lessons feature Garfield. Both lessons use the same model in which students watch a cartoon, take an informal quiz, then try to apply their new knowledge to a few different scenarios.

In an effort to teach children about potential dangers online and how to avoid them, the Council of Europe has offers a game called Through the  Wild Web WoodsThrough the Wild Web Woods is designed for students ages seven through ten to learn how to spot danger on the Internet and what to do when they do spot danger on the Internet. The game is available in twenty-four languages.

The Google+ Safety Center features a couple of guides to Google+ settings and functions for teens and their parents. The section for teens isn't much more than a basic introduction to Google+ settings, but the section for parents provides some solid advice and answers to common concerns that parents have about their teens use of social media. In addition to information about Google+, the Google+ Safety Center offers resources from Common Sense Media about anti-bullying practices and digital reputation management.

A Parents' Guide to Facebook is a soup-to-nuts guide to Facebook privacy settings, profile settings, group settings, and more. For parents who "just don't get Facebook" the guide offers great explanations of the appeal of Facebook for teenagers and what teenagers do on Facebook.  The guide provides a run down of recommended settings for teenagers and explanations of what those settings mean.

Microsoft's Safety and Security Center contains many videosPDFs, and PowerPoint presentations for learning about and teaching computer and web safety. The PDFs in are intended to printed as brochures for distribution. The videos can be embedded into your blog or website. The video section is organized into three sections; family safety, data protection, and computer protection.

AT&T's Safety Land is a nice game through which kids learn and practice recognizing danger on the Internet. The game is set in the city of "Safety Land." As students navigate from building to building in Safety Land they are confronted with a series of scenarios and questions to respond to. If they respond correctly to each scenario they will capture the cyber criminal and send him to the Safety Land jail. Students who send the cyber criminal to Safety Land jail receive a certificate that they can print out.

Own Your Space is a free, sixteen chapter ebook designed to educate tweens and teens about protecting themselves and their stuff online. This ebook isn't a fluffy, general overview book. Each chapter goes into great detail explaining the technical threats that students' computers face online as well as the personal threats to data that students can face online. For example, in the first chapter students learn about different types of malware and the importance of installing security patches to prevent malware infections. The fourteenth chapter explains the differences between secured and unsecured wireless networks, the potential dangers of an unsecured network, and how to lock-down a network. Download the whole book or individual chapters here.

Common Craft offers four good videos designed to educate viewers about safe online practices. 

Secure Passwords Explained by Common Craft.


Secure Websites in Plain English.


Phishing Scams in Plain English.


Protecting Reputations Online in Plain English.


Creating and using strong passwords is a fundamental part of protecting your digital footprint. It's not always easy to create a strong password, but fortunately there are some tools that will help you with that.

Password Bird is a simple website that asks you three questions then generates a password for you based on your responses. Every password it generated for me included numbers and letters. If you don't like the password it generates for you, simply click the link for a new password.

PassCreator is a free service that helps you create a strong password. To use PassCreator just select the attributes you want your password to have (number of characters, character type, etc.) then press "create." If you don't like the password created for you, just press "create" again to generate another password.

Friday, January 13, 2012

PassCreator Helps You Create Strong Passwords

One of the best ways to protect your online identity is to create strong passwords containing unique characters. Sometimes it's difficult to think of new strong passwords. When you're having a mental block thinking up a new password try PassCreator. PassCreator is a free service that helps you create a strong password. To use PassCreator just select the attributes you want your password to have (number of characters, character type, etc.) then press "create." If you don't like the password created for you, just press "create" again to generate another password.

Applications for Education
If your students are having trouble coming up with secure passwords, have them try PassCreator. In my experience it's often teachers that have weak passwords (using the default "HelpDesk" or "ABC123" password given to you is a bad idea). If you're in charge of distributing laptops or tablets to the faculty at your school, have teachers try PassCreator to generate a strong password.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Help Students Create Strong Passwords

Password Bird is a simple website that asks you three questions then generates a password for you based on your responses. Every password it generated for me included numbers and letters. If you don't like the password it generates for you, simply click the link for a new password.

Applications for Education
Password Bird is a great tool to have students try when they can't think of their own computer passwords. This is a particularly handy tool when students have to create passwords that include numbers.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Have You Changed Your Passwords Recently?

It's the end of the month and this is a time when I like to share simple reminders of things that we all know we should do, but often forget to do. So this month I'd to remind you that it is important to periodically change your frequently used passwords. And if you're currently using weak passwords like "DAD123," please watch the short video below and start creating strong, secure passwords.



Click here if you cannot see the video.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tools for Creating Strong Passwords

As more and more of the important information in our lives moves online it becomes more and more important to use strong passwords. In addition to being in the habit of using strong passwords that contain letters, numbers, and special characters you should also be in the habit of changing your passwords regularly. Of course, developing strong passwords isn't always easy. Here are some tools that can help you and your students create strong passwords.

Password Bird is a simple website that asks you three questions then generates a password for you based on your responses. Every password it generated for me included numbers and letters. If you don't like the password it generates for you, simply click the link for a new password.

 PassPlex is a simple tool for generating strong and unique passwords. To use PassPlex to create a password all you have to do is enter the number of characters you need and the level of complexity you desire for your password.

Random.org offers a password generator that will allow you to create up to one hundred unique passwords at a time. To use the Random.org password generator just specify the number of passwords you want to create and the number of character each password should have. After making those specifications the list of passwords will be generated for you.

New Password Generator offers two tools for randomly generating passwords. The simpler of the two allows you to specify the number of letters and digits in your passwords. The more complex generators allows you to  specify if you want a combination of upper and lower case letters, special characters, and the length of your password.

Here are a couple of videos that can help you explain to students why they should create strong passwords and how to go about it.

Here's How to Choose a Safe Password by Explania.

How to choose a safe password - Explania

Here's Secure Passwords Explained by Common Craft.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

PassPlex - A Strong Password Generator

Creating and using strong passwords is a fundamental part of protecting your online identity. But sometimes it's challenging to develop a strong and unique password. If you've ever been in that place where you're stuck trying to develop a password, PassPlex is for you. PassPlex is a simple tool for generating strong and unique passwords. To use PassPlex to create a password all you have to do is enter the number of characters you need and the level of complexity you desire for your password.

Common Craft and Explania both have good videos about creating strong passwords.

Here's How to Choose a Safe Password by Explania.

How to choose a safe password - Explania

Here's Secure Passwords Explained by Common Craft.


Applications for Education
PassPlex is a handy tool to have students try when they can't think of their own computer passwords. This is a particularly handy tool when students have to create passwords that include numbers and characters.