Choosing a smart password

Image representing Gmail as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Phishing, a topic that’s been in the news, is unfortunately a common way for hackers to trick you into sharing personal information like your account password. If you suspect you’ve been a victim of a phishing attack, we recommend you immediately change your password, update the security question and secondary address on your account, and make sure you’re using a modern browser with anti-phishing protection turned on. Keep an eye out for the phishing warning Gmail adds to suspicious messages, and be sure to review these tips on how to avoid getting hooked.Creating a new password is often one of the first recommendations you hear when trouble occurs. Even a great password can’t keep you from being scammed, but setting one that’s memorable for you and that’s hard for others to guess is a smart security practice since weak passwords can be easily guessed. Below are a few common problems we’ve seen in the past and suggestions for making your passwords stronger.

You can follow the ‘via’ link to get all of Google’s ideas on creating smart passwords…

Top 20 Free Applications to Increase Your Productivity

“The Internet is loaded with free software, making it hard to know which one’s you really need. This article will act as your guide to the top 20 free applications (Web and Windows) for increased productivity.” Click here to read more…

Don’t forget to check Google Pack and Ninite to grab some of this software!

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Soluto: Anti-Frustration Software

This is the most innovative Windows trouble-shooting software I’ve seen in a verrry long time. Combining technology and crowdsourcing, Soluto works automatically to solve one of the most difficult issues Windows users face; taming all the applications that want to launch on startup and suck the life out of their computers…

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=11786742&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=00adef&fullscreen=1

Scoble talks to the brains behind the organization here…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GM8w-HcaRM

I tried it last night and the initial results are good — got my Windows 7 boot time down to 90 seconds — not as fast as Ubuntu, but not bad for Windows. Also gained some additional memory and system resources. Check it out…

Windows Maintenance Tips: The Good, Bad, and Useless

Lifehacker has a great roundup explaining the good and the bad of maintaining Windows. Definitely worth reading in its entirety! Click the ‘via’ link…

Handling Email; 5+ emails you should filter

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Image via CrunchBase

Email is such a simple tool but it makes or breaks so many people’s productivity and it breaks my heart to see how many people struggle with handling it…

“How many emails do you have in your inbox right now? Are you an inbox zero freak like me? Or do you have emails piled up and unread that you’re hoping you’ll get time to get to?

I’m not judging – I used to have as messy an inbox as anyone. And even now, if I go on vacation or don’t check my email for too long, I can get in a heap of trouble: the email piles up, and it can be a real chore getting back to my empty inbox.

I’ve got a few tips up my sleeve though to make dealing with email a little less painful – and I’ve found the best defense is a strong offense. In this article, I’m going to give you some concrete tips and examples to reduce the number of emails in your inbox instantly – and help you keep it that way long term with the use of filters.” Source: 5 Types of Emails You Should be Automatically Filtering – Stepcase Lifehack

Here are the 5 types:

  • Newsletters
  • Forwarded articles
  • Comments and pings from my blog
  • Facebook/Twitter/Social Media Notifications
  • Store Promotions
  • cc:’s [This one is my own — and I’ll explain later]

You’ll have to go to the source if you’re interested in the full rationale behind these statements. #6 [the one I added] comes from seeing how email is used as a CYA tool in large corporations. I have a friend — let’s call her Sue — Sue is an important mucky-muck at a large manufacturing organization and she’s stuck in email hell. She’s a slave to Outlook and her BlackBerry. I would venture to say that 70% or more of the email she receives is CYA. How much easier Sue’s life would be if she’d only use Outlook to put all the emails where her name appears on the cc: line in a special folder to read later when she had more time. Or used the filter on her BlackBerry Enterprise Server to only send her the emails where her name appeared on the to: line. Sigh!

As the author says, these filters work particularly well with Gmail or Google Apps [both of which I use] to manage mail effectively.

“Once you’ve created some of these filters, GMail (what I use) has an option to immediately run them on whatever you’ve got in your inbox. Use this to instantly filter low priority items away so you can focus on what’s important.

Going forward, your filters will be applied to any new email that comes in. This will keep your inbox clean so you can read the relevant, important emails first, before you head to your folders to deal with these low priority emails that may still be important to you – but don’t require as quick a response.” Source: 5 Types of Emails You Should be Automatically Filtering – Stepcase Lifehack

One more thought for those of you unlucky enough to be on MY emailing target list. I send ‘just in case’ info from my personal gmail account and important ‘just in time’ email from my e1evation account. If you’re smart, you’ll filter emails from toddlohenry@gmail.com and make sure emails from todd@e1evation.com are granted the HIGHEST priority! Those of you who are prolific emailers may want to grant your frequent recipients a similar escape hatch…

As always, I invite readers to comment, call or contact me and let me know what YOU think [or ask for help if they’re caught in email hell!]…

2,433 Unread Emails?

Does this sound familiar?

“I routinely declare email bankruptcy and simply delete my entire inbox. But even so, I currently have 2,433 unread emails in my inbox. Plus another 721 in my Facebook inbox. and about thirty skype message windows open with unanswered messages. It goes without saying, of course, that my cell phone voicemail box is also full (I like the fact that new messages can’t be left there, so I have little incentive to clear it out).

How do I deal with email now? I scan the from and subject fields for high payoff messages. People I know who don’t waste my time, or who I have a genuine friendship with. Or descriptive subject lines that help me understand that I should allot a minute or more of my life to opening it and reading it.”

Wow. Talk about a dysfunctional way of handling communications! Are you having problems like this? Here are a couple of ideas…

  1. Use Gmail. No other ISP offers the tools to handle large volumes of email like Gmail…
  2. Read ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen. If you’re in a hurry, skip to #3…
  3. Check out Inbox Zero

If you can’t implement it on your own, scroll down and give me a call — I’ll be happy to help you out…

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Another step toward the online "cloud computing" life

“Web-based computing has these advantages: It doesn’t matter what kind of computer you use. Mac, Windows, Linux, Ubuntu — they’re all the same. It doesn’t matter whose computer you’re using, or where. You don’t have to drag hard drives or USB sticks or even computers around with you, or copy files between a desktop and a laptop machine to keep them up to date. You just sit down wherever you get a web connection and dig in. Everything you need is stored in the internet ‘cloud.'” While it doesn’t matter what computer you use, it does matter which browser you use and Firefox — the best, imho — is available across all the aforementioned platforms as are many of the mission critical extensions. This makes for an easy transition to any operating system.

This is a must read article for anyone looking to reduce the cost of computing in their organization. Click here to read more…

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