Showing posts with label special days to celebrate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label special days to celebrate. Show all posts

Thursday, May 5, 2016

How to Store Your Passwords

How do you store your passwords? Let's review three choices to consider as we celebrate World Password Day.
Happy World Password Day! This is a holiday that everyone within the sound of my written voice can celebrate; if you're on a computer, you almost positively have at least one password. Or a hundred of them, and therein lies the problem. How do you store all those passwords? Better yet, how do you remember them? Let's review some of the best ways to store the passwords that you use online.

But first, let's talk a little bit about why there is a World Password Day. Cybercrime is huge in the news these days. Rarely a week goes by that we don't learn of another hack by some group of unknown criminals on the computer records of yet another well-known large company, bank, or perhaps worse, government agency.

It is said that there are two groups of people online, those who've been hacked and those who don't yet know they've been hacked. It's hard to imagine how much personal information, often including account numbers and passwords, is in the hands of criminals who have nothing but bad things in mind. Likely they plan to sell all the compromised information they can get their hands on to the highest bidder with no regard at all to how their illegal deeds might adversely affect the average computer user.

While there's little we as individuals can do to stop this widespread criminal behavior, the best thing we can do to keep our own online information safe is to protect access to it by using good, strong passwords and storing them properly.

Care to guess what the two most-used passwords in the world are? At the top of the list is the numeric sequence 123456 while second is the word "password." If you use either of those on any of your online accounts, I have three words for you: No! No! No! It takes mere seconds to create a strong password, one that even the worst bad guy's password-stealing robot can't easily hack. For some simple tips to follow when creating a password, both do's and don't's, visit the World Password Day website. It's a fun and informative site where you'll probably learn a thing or two.

Once you've created your new long, strong passwords, one for each and every account you use, you'll need to figure out how to safely store them. Here are three choices to consider.

Kaspersky Password Manager is a great way to keep your personal passwords safe!
1. Hire a manager. The easiest way is to store all of your passwords with the help of a password manager such as the highly-recommended Kaspersky Password Manager (available in both a free and a paid version). This program syncs your passwords across devices, which is very handy. It will also help you develop strong passwords that are hard to crack, always a good thing. Learn more then download the free version or buy the paid version (just $14.99, price subject to change) at the link.

2. Write them down. If you're old fashioned, as I tend to be, you might want to keep track of your passwords yourself by writing them down on paper. Or use a simple Rolodex. The one in the picture above is mine. The alphabetical tabs make it easy to file the cards by site name or URL and it doesn't take much room on your desk top. This is a good solution for a home office, but I wouldn't use it in a public work space where anyone who walks by could take a peek or, worse, grab it and take off with it. Also, it isn't easy to pack in my purse when I travel. That's where the next option comes in.

This personal password logbook is a great way to store all the passwords you use online.
3.  Use a password journal. I really like this personal password logbook or journal! It's designed specifically for recording internet addresses and their passwords as well as other useful information about your computer, your software, your ISP, your email addresses, and more. The front label is removable, so the contents are stored discretely. The elastic band helps by keeping the book closed until you want to open it. I really like the cover design, too, which is just one of several available for this line of password journals or logbooks. (You'll see them at the link.) While I keep a short list of passwords with me in my purse, it's barely sufficient and not nearly as efficient as this pretty book which right now costs less than $7 (price subject to change).

A word of caution: House fires happen. I know first hand. So if you depend on a Rolodex, sticky notes, or just a simple notebook for storing passwords, make sure you have a backup somewhere (and not on an external hard drive in your home; they burn, too). The Kaspersky system is probably the best choice for storing passwords or, if you still want to do it yourself, just make sure you've set up a file in the cloud somewhere that you can retrieve from anywhere in case of emergency. The price is very reasonable and very worth it when you consider the time it takes to retrieve and/or change every password you have. Again, I know.

So, how do you store your passwords? Do they need updating? How will you celebrate World Password Day? While it officially falls on the first Thursday of May (May 4, 2017), this information is important every day of the year. I hope you'll use it to keep both your data and your passwords safe!

~ Susan
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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Appreciate a Dragon Day – January 16

Reviewing Dragons for 'Dragon Day'


Stormy the Plush Dragon


In 2004, a school teacher named Donita K. Paul, decided to retire.  Shortly afterwards,  Mrs. Paul began a new career as a writer.  She created “Appreciate a Dragon Day” to celebrate the release of her first book, Dragon Spell, and as a way to celebrate literacy.  We now celebrate this day every year on January 16.



Available on Amazon


Dragon Spell is Book 1 of the Dragon Keepers Chronicles, a fantasy fiction series for children in grades 4 through 8.  Mrs. Paul went on to write a total of 6 books in this series, then moved on to write a 10-book series of the Dragon Chronicles.  


Today she is an award-winning novelist writing Christian Romance and Fantasy, but it looks like the mythical creature we call the dragon has become her favorite.





Things to do for Dragon Day



Since Mrs. Paul's dragon books are designed for children, she has a number of suggestions for kids to celebrate her 'Appreciate a Dragon Day'.  


  • Take Pictures!
    • One idea is to see how many pictures you can take of your favorite stuffed dragon in funny places.  
      • How about reading a dragon book with your plush dragon at the library?  
        • Picture the two of you eating a hamburger at McDonalds 
        • Or, you and your dragon could play in the park and have fun sliding down the slide.


        • Be Creative!

        Draw a dragon or write a story about a dragon or put on a dragon puppet show. 



        Check out How to Draw Dragons, a cute art lesson for children found on Emily Gravett's web site.  Emily is an illustrator and author of darling children's books, including  Cedric the Dragon.


        • Sing a Dragon Song 



        The most famous dragon of modern times has been immortalized in song.  Puff, the Magic Dragon was written by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary folk group fame more than 50 years ago… and is still beloved by children (and their parents and grandparents) today.


        Peter Yarrow
        I got to see Peter Yarrow in person in Savannah, GA three years ago when he was one of the performers of our annual  music festival.  Before singing “Puff”, he called a couple dozen small children up on the stage with him and had them help sing the song.  

        Peter Yarrow held his microphone down to a 5-year-old singing “Puff”.  She knew all the words, though even her parents had yet to be born when the song was written in 1963. Peter Yarrow told the audience that day that he had no idea the song would become so well known and beloved by generations of children.  He said he finds this very moving.

        Personal Note:  Speaking of feeling moved, after the concert I stood in line to tell Peter Yarrow I had been a fan for almost all of his career and, really feeling overwhelmed, tearfully thanked him for the beautiful music and the 50 years of special memories.  He gave me a hug as I left, giving this folk music fan another wonderful memory.


        Puff the Magic Dragon Book, CD & Plush Dragon Gift Set



        Puff the Magic Dragon Gift Set

        This children's book is based on the fabulous children's song written by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton with beautiful illustrations by artist Eric Puybaret.


        The book comes with a CD featuring not only Puff, but several other songs performed by Yarrow, his daughter Bethany, and cellist Rufus Cappadocia and a Puff, the Magic Dragon Plush Toy.

        An adorable 3-piece gift set for all fans of "Puff", young and old.

        Get Ready to Celebrate "Appreciate a Dragon Day"




        So, whatever you choose to do to celebrate “Appreciate a Dragon Day” you are sure to have a wonderful time with this favorite of mythical creatures. 

        Related Link:

        Delightful Dragon Gift Ideas


        (c) Article written by Wednesday Elf on 1/9/16.  Updated on 1/4/19




        Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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