Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"That's amazing. I've got the same combination on my luggage"

Passwords. We all have them now days. Lots of people despise them, most tolerate them, and idiots write them down on post-it notes stuck to their monitors. It seems like all the time we're hearing about security breaches when accounts for some major company are hacked. Ever wonder why it is that accounts are hacked so easily?
Well, as this article points out, the Rockyou.com breach allowed an opportunity for that FAQ to be answered. Imperva studied the 32 million passwords that were hacked, and some interesting findings came up. Passwords haven't evolved much since 1990.
Think about that.
Think, if your hairstyle had not evolved since 1990, how much ridicule you'd be subjected to. You shudder at the thought, don't you? Yet our unevolved passwords make us vulnerable to much more than ridicule. Many people use the same password for their email, work, bank information, online bill payments, twitter, etc. By one being hacked, the rest are compromised. Are you able to access any sensitive data at work? The hackers can access it too. Money in your bank account? Its not secure any more.
This isn't just a pesky matter of having to re-set your passwords and set your facebook status to "hey everyone, i got hacked, that last post wasn't me, dude." No, this is a mindset. The article states that the top 10 most common passwords (of the Rockyou.com scandal) were:

1. 123456
2. 12345
3. 123456789
4. Password
5. iloveyou
6. princess
7. rockyou
8. 1234567
9. 12345678
10. abc123

We've all been told by our IT people that the most secure passwords are those that have upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. It's a pain, I know. But if your little fingers aren't getting a workout while typing your password, it's not a good one.

*wipes brow and steps off of soapbox* Now back to your regularly blogged snark :-)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

We will be a real company when:

January 14, 2000 is the day Addison Technologies became incorporated. The idea was simple enough: design, host and market web sites. Addison has lived through the dot com crash, 2 recessions and what appears to be on of the tightest credit crunches in history. I remember a line we used frequently over the course of the past ten years: “we will be a real company when…” . When was whatever we were trying to do was accomplished. We will be a real company when:

We have toll free numbers
Our first employee
We have our own air hockey table
We have over 10 servers
we have over 20 servers
Health insurance
Our own controller
Have a devoted customer service rep.
We have 100 clients
We have 200 clients
We have 300 clients
Two T1 lines
Have multiple offices
Have our own Jet (well that one is still in the works)

This saying turned out to be prophetic, because somewhere along the way, we became a real company. Congratulations are in order, but more importantly we would like to offer thanks to all the helped along the way. Thank you for not just helping, but becoming part of the Addison Technologies family that continues to grow by the day. The next ten years will be just adventurous as the last, and we can’t wait for the next thing, that will make us a real company!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Quick Questions

So, dear readers, I was reading through this story about how a researcher has shown how Google is in bed with spyware, cheating its advertisers and annoying its users. Now, my first reaction to this was "Well, that figures." But after thinking about it for a minute, I came up with a couple of points, things I thought I'd never have to ask:
1) Is anyone sadistic enough to Like pop-up ads?
and, assuming the answer to number 1 is a big, fat "no!" then
2) Many browsers (like Firefox and Opera) come with an integrated pop-up blocker that work beautifully. Who wouldn't take advantage of that? And for those of you who are committed to browsers like IE who don't have that...
3) Who, nowdays, doesn't use a pop-up blocker?
I mean, really? Several places offer blockers that work well, over the years I've used various ones with success.
Now, I'm never for a company screwing its clients, nor for a company annoying its users. Its bad form. The point I'm getting to is, I would have never known this was going on, if I hadn't read this article. I would have gone on assuming things were all right and proper, because I wasn't seeing the offending ads. How many people are like the pre-article me? Lots, my friends.
Which brings me to my other point: if you're not going to let trusted professionals help you (like our marketing team at Addison Technologies)then become educated. Find out these things yourself, not in a tinfoil-hat education or instant expert way, but in a become savvy in what you're asking/receiving way. Things generally go more smoothly if you understand how they work.
Now, I'm off to read up further...