Too many passwords? Try a password manager

How many different online accounts do you have?  Online banking, e-mail, social websites, etc.  Add on to that all of the online shopping sites, and you're probably over 20 at least.   How do you remember the passwords?  Some people use a single password for every site.  That's NOT a good idea.  Take a look at the linkedin security breach a few weeks back and you can see why.  If you used the same password for LinkedIn that you did for your e-mail, the data thieves now have access to your e-mail, which will pretty much give them access to nearly every account you have.
So what is the solution?  You should have a different, hard to guess password for each site.  To keep track of these passwords, you should use a password manager.

How to securely erase your hard drive

Are you planning to recycle, donate, gift, or sell your computer?   Before you do this, you should think about the data on your hard drive.  There is lots of personal information on your drive that could be used in a harmful way if it were to fall into the wrong hands.  
A colleague of mine has purchased numerous hard drives off of eBay and found data on them when he installed them.  There are man people who purchase used hard drives with the express purpose of gathering data from them.  So what is one to do?  
You have a few options.  

Security Advisory - LinkedIn password breach

Yesterday, June 6th, it was announced that a large security breach had occurred at LinkedIn.  This security breach was a large file containing password hashes.  
A password hash is how your password is stored on a server instead of as plain text.  It is advised that all users change their password immediately.
While the danger on LinkedIn is minimal, the real danger lies in the fact that many people use the same password at mulitple sites.  So, if you use your e-mail as your ID on LinkedIn, and used the same password for your e-mail your e-mail could be vulnerable.

Windows Security Essentials

Many people are paying hundreds of dollars for anti-virus and anti-malware software on their computer.  After the initial investment, some companies offer to "keep your computer secure" for an annual or monthly fee.  These programs often bog down the system and cause annoying messages to frighten you into buying more of their products.  
This is really not necessary.  I have found for my personal use that Microsoft provides all that I need fro free.   Yes, Microsoft provides things for free.  

Behold the power of Evernote

 
How many devices do you have?  Do want to share information across all your devices AND have access to it when at a computer that is not yours?  How about sharing documents between co-workers or friends to collaborate on?  
I would suggest taking a look at Evernote and the tools that are available to work with it.
It's available for the PC, MAC, iPhone, and Android.  You can also access your notes from the website.

The Mind of FERG is back thanks to Amazon Web Services

After a several month hiatus, themindofferg.com is back up and running.  I had some hardware issues while I was away on vacation, and some of the drives on my storage server were lost.  
Fortunately, I had the site backed up (yes, I practice what I preach !).  However, my mini-datacenter at home continued to be down due to some UPS issues.  I was hesitant to put the servers online without it, so it sat idle while I dealt with other projects.

Thoughts on the last shuttle flight

With the last launch of the Space Shuttle today we are entering another period where the US lacks its own manned spaceflight capability.  We are relying on the Russians for transport to the International Space Station.  In my opinion this is a dangerous situation.

Backup - Not just for business anymore

It's estimated that 1/3 of all computer users don't do any backup on their computer systems, and that of those that do 3/4 only do it once a month or less. 

With more and more of our important data (pictures, videos, etc) stored digitally, backup for the home user is as important as it is for the business user.

Let's explore some of the options available for backup.

Roku - Netflix and much more

If you have a high speed internet connection and are looking for a way to watch internet video on your TV, take a look at the Roku Streaming Player (http://www.roku.com)

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One remote to rule them all - The Logitech Harmony Remote

How many remotes do you have? How many "universal" remotes have you tried? Isn't looking at that little book and finding the codes for your device (which might not work) so much fun.

Let me introduce you to the Logitech Harmony remote.

All of the Harmony remotes are programmed via your PC. You plug it into your USB port and using the included software enter in your various devices. After setting up the devices you set up various tasks on the remote.

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