Posted by Petr P on November 3, 2010
Hello you guys and gals!
After all the hard work, mainly also on your part, our kind Beta testers and customers, we are releasing today a brand new Sticky Password 5.0 Version! Hurray, quite excited about it, obviously!
We know, you say – hey everyone has a new version almost once a year, there will be nothing special about it – but actually, we think there is in SP 5.0! We did listen and included features that will not only make your computer and work online more secure, but more importantly even more convenient, fast and easy. So what are some of the things that we put into the new version? Here you go:
The new SP 5.0 creates and stores strong passwords for you – well, you know this, but we made the creation of passwords even more sophisticated and added some cool features to this part of the app. What we are relay proud of is that you can use even more secure storage options with the Secure Memos feature, and we also added a password collaboration tools for small offices and work groups. And of course, your personal privacy will be protected from identity theft as you take advantage of the convenient password management and form filling functionality.
Now many of you asked us and here you go – Sticky Password 5.0 supports Google Chrome.
SP goes where you go and the synchronization between USB and the application on your PC has been made even simpler! And we still set the pricing tone in the industry – each license includes the portable version and installs easily on your USB device or flash memory stick, so you’ll always have your passwords wherever you need them.
Well, those are just the highlights! We are sure you will find many other important tweed and shortcuts and other cool things that you will like in the new application, so feel free to discuss them here. And yes – we are continuing to work on other things so please, do not stop to providing us with the feedback we so much value!
Your Sticky Password Team
Posted by Peter L on August 23, 2010
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! We’re looking for Beta testers!
If you like playing with new and cool software, then we’ve got the password manager that you’ve got to try. No new menu bars in your browser, just your passwords whenever you need them, and one-click form filling, too. And, your passwords are safe in the encrypted database on your computer and USB device.
What’s that, you’re not using a password manager, yet?! That’s OK, there’s never been a better time or password manager to start. Of course, even if you are already using a password manager, we think you’ll find that Sticky Password has a lot to offer.
To make the offer irresistible:
- the top two testers will receive a Kindle wireless reading device from Amazon (or similar value gift).
- free software, t-shirts or other branded stuff for the best testers.
That’s hard to beat!
Testing will begin in September. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Posted by Peter L on July 29, 2010
Facebook is in the headlines again today. The reason, as usual, concerns privacy and the personal data of facebook users. A man named Ron Bowes used a program to scan facebook and collect personal data from user accounts. The catch this time is that the personal data was all publicly available under each user’s profile.
By revealing the personal data of 100 Million users (100,000,000 – that’s a lot of zeros), Mr Bowes wanted to highlight the privacy issues associate with facebook. Note that the data he collected was all available to anyone searching the Internet. He just had a fancy tool do the heavy lifting for him. The information was available based on the settings each of the facebook users had for his or her account.
The solution that he and others propose for the issue of data available is to save all the users from themselves. That is, facebook (and presumably other social networks) should by default have all settings set to hide all personal data from view from others.
While this may not in general be a bad idea, it loses sight of the bigger issue which is that most people just don’t make the connection between privacy and the information they make available on social networks. In addition, having all settings switched to ‘maximum secrecy’ is not going to change human nature. It may actually make things worse. Instead of making people think twice about the information they are making available online, they may be upset at the barrier set up to sharing with their friends, and they may simply go and flip all the settings off.
While facebook could do a much better job explaining what it’s privacy settings mean to the user, the task of privacy still remains with the user.
We must be careful with ANY information we put online.
Posted by Peter L on July 27, 2010
Good article on security ‘secrets’ that will help keep you safe.
Start at the end and move to the beginning. The advice about knowing what programs you use and making sure that they are up to date is easy and huge, HUGE – really big! – in keeping you safe. This applies to programs and your operating system. Even though Microsoft and most software developers encourage their users to automate the update process, most people don’t seem to ‘get around to it’. What is it about leading a horse to water…
While they do seem to have a lot of updates, Microsoft doesn’t up-sell in their updates. There is no excuse to not have the latest security patches on a daily basis – or however often they come out. (Whining about Microsoft isn’t going to help, so just get the updates.)
I do see a problem with updates from a lot of the other software vendors. Large or small, a lot of vendors intentionally blur the boundary between security updates and sales pitches for upgrade. This discourages a lot of users – including yours truly – from paying attention to what is included in the latest update. It is easier to say ‘no’ to an update, then to try to decipher whether this is a payable upgrade or something that I need!
It is up to you to know what you have on your computer so that you will know when something fishy is going on.
Posted by Peter L on July 26, 2010
Basic advice for staying safe while staying connected on vacation. Actually – it’s very good advice for your everyday usage, also! As with the great majority of advice you’ll see here, or on the Sticky Password facebook page or stuff that we link to, you’ll notice that most of this involves common sense.
Two big issues with being active on …the Internet are 1) that people often think that they’ve built a bond with someone they’ve never just because they both play World of Warcraft online. The truth is that you don’t know who is on the other end of the discussion. Just as you wouldn’t share your personal info with a stranger in the subway who was also wearing a Yankees jersey just because you are also a fan, you should never make your info available online. Someone may misuse it. (Getting away with it 9 times out of 10, won’t take the pain out of getting burned that 10th time!) And 2) the idea of anonymity. Somehow, because we are using a computer, we think that there is a veil of anonymity over anything we do. Nothing could be further from the truth. Unless you are careful, that computer can easily reveal anything and everything you’ve entered – all the sites you’ve visited, your personal data and more.
Taking basic precautions may take a few minutes (really, only a few minutes), but it can save you from the anguish and real problems of identity theft. AND, by taking those few precautions, you’ll probably get even better use of your computer as you learn to use it better.
Posted by Petr P on July 21, 2010
One night my landlady told me, that she had some ”Notification failures” in her Hotmail inbox and if I can help her, since I work for a software security company. So of course I agreed and had a look at her Inbox. It was full of “Notification failure” messages, that some email was not delivered, that some mailbox doesn’t exist and so on. So I had a look at her sent messages and I saw a lot of sent emails to many many emails in BCC (blind carbon copies). Wow, it was the first time I have seen some hacker just hacking someone’s email account and using it for spamming. That was scary. Really scary.
So I told her to immediately change her password and also to tell me her password and guess what, it was the most common password ever!! 123456. Oh my gosh! I was shocked! And then when we tried to change the password I have realized that she had been using this password since she created her email account. Since 1998! That’s right! She had the same poorest password for 12 years. She is lucky that someone hacked her email just 2 weeks ago. So I tried the password changing process and it stopped me with the message: “Please update your browser and system” because she hadn’t updated her browser and system for 2 years! Yes, 2 years. So we had a lot of updates to go through and after 3 hours I was finally able to change her mail account password. So I asked her what password she wanted to use and she told me “Well, if 123456 is not secure enough, lets go with my other password happyhappy.” Oh my gosh again! Come on!
So I told her the basics of selecting a strong password and, of course, I told her about Sticky Password and all of its benefits. She was so surprised about all the password management topics and she also told me, that she has been using 2 passwords for all of her accounts all her life.
Now she is in the middle of starting her new online life.
Posted by Peter L on June 28, 2010
Now that security professionals are talking about hacking cars, home security systems, and digital cameras, you’re probably wondering if there is anything that is safe from hackers. At least your home appliances are safe – right?! Well, no. Now, even your high-tech blender is a potential risk.
The goal of the hacker isn’t always to get your personal data. In the case of appliances and GPS devices, the experts are saying that the device will be used to mislead or distract you, opening you up to an attack. When you take a look at the things highlighted in the article that hackers are focusing on, or will soon be focusing on, you’ll see that there is something very simple that you can do to improve your own security.
Simple yet critical: use the built-in security options of your devices.
Many of the items mentioned in the article have functionality that relies on communication via a wireless network, or in some other way uses computer technology. Just by following basic computer security procedures like getting the latest software updates, picking strong passwords and using the basic security settings, you’ll stand a much stronger chance of protecting yourself.
Going back a few years to when major brand name viruses like Melissa ravaged the Internet, a huge number of the infected computers were vulnerable because users simply did not perform the suggested Microsoft security updates.
Hackers then and now count on users NOT following basic security instructions.
Don’t become a statistic! Take the time to learn how to use the security features. In most cases, you’ll see that it’s just as easy to use the security as not, with the undeniable advantage that you’ll be safer.
Also mentioned in the article is the ‘last frontier of hacking’ – the human brain. The author points out that at least part of this is the realm of social engineering: a con-game tricking you to act in some way. The realm of phishing and other email exploits try to trick you to click on something or to send your information to someone for your share of millions of dollars.
Ah, but that’s a topic for a different blog…
Posted by Peter L on June 24, 2010
Your security online is made up of little things that each and every one of us CAN manage. Much of protecting yourself involves paying attention and being aware of what you are doing when using your computer. Even the settings that you use for your computer and security programs are designed to allow you to make a reasonable decision based on the way you use your computer. The few minutes of paying attention while installing your security software can make all the difference. Know what the software is doing for you, so that you’ll be able to recognize when something strange is going on.
A password manager is there to do for you those things that take up your time and really are an effort. Creating strong passwords for each website and keeping them straight in your head isn’t easy. And it does take time to use them. We recommend Sticky Password, but whether you use a password manager or not, you should be aware of the basics of safe passwords: unique strings of letters and numbers that can’t be guessed for each site and purpose. And, of course, don’t share your passwords with anyone.
And, as has been written in this blog before, DON’T believe everything you read. That’s generally true, but on the Internet, you are likely to be overwhelmed by offers. If you wouldn’t accept the offer from someone on the street, then there is even more reason to reject it from a mysterious someone who wants to share riches with you. Your odds of winning the lottery are better than getting ‘your share’ of the millions of dollars.
Review these general security tips and you’ll see that protecting yourself is something that you CAN manage.
Posted by Peter L on June 9, 2010
Check out this abridged history of hacking.
The history of mankind: there is always someone out there who is interested in getting access to other people’s ‘stuff’. While many of the examples given in the post focus on government systems, that’s not the rule. Breaking into a military system is always a thrill (and embarrassment to the government), but breaking into company and personal accounts is more lucrative. Systems can be hacked, so it is YOUR responsibility to take care of your personal data. Strong passwords are a requirement for protecting your personal data.
Also very interesting is the type of people who are doing the hacking. You may not have seen your Aunt Sally in the list, but a lot of those teenagers and students could have lived just down the street from you. Make sure that you are securing your passwords.
Posted by Peter L on May 14, 2010
Here in Essex County, New Jersey, the county is promoting the annual computer and electronics recycling day (this Saturday, May 15), so when I saw the article about Identity Finder on ComputerWorld.com, I was in the right mindset to appreciate the problem.
What’s the problem? Your computer can end up in the strangest places.
Your computer = YOUR PERSONAL DATA
Whether you give your computer to a family member or donate it to a good cause, or someone steals it, all that stuff you put in there thinking that no one would ever see has a way of staying around a long time. And, for as long as the data is there, someone can get to it. (I know that computer recycling projects often claim to wipe all the data clean, but I wouldn’t count on someone else doing it for me.)
Identity Finder (cute logo!) does a deep scan of your computer to locate data associated with your identity – social security and credit card numbers, birthdays, unencrypted PASSWORDS, etc. If you’ve had your computer for any period of time, it is going to have information that you’ve forgotten about. Some of that data should not get into the wrong hands!
The author mentions that Identity Finder can ‘shred’ the files to ensure that the data is unrecoverable, which is very good. It brings up the question of whether Identity Finder can find the data in files that underwent a ‘standard’ delete and therefore are still technically accessible on the hard drive. THAT would be a great service to the average computer user.
All the passwords and personal data that are stored in Sticky Password are encrypted – so even if someone gets access to the computer, he won’t be able to get to your information. Passwords stored in your browser aren’t secure. Neither are passwords in that old Word or Excel file that you labeled with the mysterious title: mypasswords.doc. Knowing where your sensitive data are is a big step in protecting yourself.
I’ll be running Identity Finder scan on my computer this weekend!
My only question: what were all those social security numbers doing on the author’s computer in the first place!?!