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The Magic Called a Password.

Passwords are a tricky thing to navigate. You have always been told not to use simple things, such as your date of birth, your phone number, your name, or simple passwords such as Password, 1234567890, or 12345 (“That’s amazing! I’ve got the same combination on my luggage!” Spaceballs anyone?). So what CAN you use for a password? How can a black hat even acquire my password?

Well, it’s quite simple to be honest. Want to know the magic behind it? Let me show you!

There are 10 numbers on the keyboard, right? 0 – 9. On your default password, they have you input a 4 digit passcode. The amount of characters in your possibilities will be your primary number. In this case the digits, 0 – 9, so 10. Now, your exponent will be the number of digits in your passcode. In this example, 4. 10^4 = 10*10*10*10 = 10,000 possible combinations when using 0 to 9 only.

Now, if you understand how characters work on an electronic device, an upper case letter and lower case letter are counted as completely different characters. In the U.S. alphabet, there are 26 characters. That means if you use 4 characters, a through z, for your password, that would be 26^4, or 26*26*26*26 = or 456,976 possible combinations. It is almost as if you are going down a list and trying the following:

  • aaaa
  • aaab
  • aaac
  • baaa
  • baab
  • etc.

That would take a LONG time! I don’t know about you, but I have better things to do with my time! To simplify this, a black hat hacker would create a list, perhaps in Microsoft Excel (or just utilizing Notepad if they wanted to), or download a list that can be found online, and then run all these combinations through a bot that attempts email and password combinations until it potentially finds a match. Or, it utilizes a “dictionary password list” to run through words. Sometimes these could take minutes, or they can take days to do depending on the depth of the password, as well as whether the account in question has 2-factor authentication (having to enter the password, THEN enter a code you received on your phone, for example).

So, now that you know the formula for combinations, do you believe it is better to have a longer password, or a more complex password? Lets go back to our formula for that.

This time, we will use upper case, lower case, and numbers for our password. Upper case we have 26 characters, lower case is another 26 characters, and we have 10 numbers (0-9). So in total there is 62 characters. So lets take the ipad example using our “62.” 62^4 = 62*62*62*62 = 14,776,336 possible combinations. Now, lets increase that to having 5 characters in our password. 14,776,336*62 = 916,132,823 possible combinations. I think mathematically it makes sense that a longer password is what we’re wanting. A good rule of thumb:

Change out “look alike” letters with numbers. Example: Take the word Elite. The ‘e’ is replaced with 3. Your ‘i’ could be replaced with the number 1. Now you have 3l1t3, or you can even do El1t3, that way you have your capital letter, lower case letters, and numbers, taking you simply from 36 characters to your 62 characters.

Password suggestions always change, but if you follow these guidelines at a minimum, you won’t go wrong:

  • Utilize 1 number;
  • Utilize 1 lower case letter;
  • Utilize 1 upper case letter;
  • Avoid using commons words from the dictionary;
  • Don’t utilize any PII;
  • Avoid common patterns that might be found on the keyboard (qwerty, poiuy, 12345 are all examples)
  • Don’t reuse the same password for all of your accounts;
  • DO NOT write down your passwords all in a book next to your desk. If an intruder breaks into your home, and you have everything listed right there, in the extreme cases every account is lost that you have created.

Following the information listed here will help you understand the magic behind a password, and how to create a better password.

If you have any questions, or a comment concerning anything listed here, please leave me a message below.

As always, thank you for taking your time to secure your information, and your life.

Google Sheets to Google Calendar How-To

Every once in a while you get a great idea. The steps seem to be going great, and things are working just the way you would like. Suddenly, you find yourself at a stopping point because the project fell through, and just don’t have interested parties. Yet the things you have learned you would still like for others to know. That is what this is all about. A great script for you to use, to get your projects from a Google Sheet and posted to Google Calendar. This script will place a button for you to press on Google Sheets, and have the information (if labeled properly) create an event for you on Google Calendar.

So let’s begin!

STEP 1: Create your Google Sheet

Make sure your lines are titled properly, you will need this later on. For the example I have created, I listed three columns: 1) Date 2) Event, and 3) Location. Fill out the information for however many events you would like.

STEP 2: Create the script

Part of this project was to create a button on Google Sheets that allowed you to import the events to your calendar. This would save members time so they didn’t have to create individual events each time things are inputted. To create a script, go to “Tools” -> “Script Editor.”

Input the following code:

function onOpen(e){
SpreadsheetApp.getUi()
.createMenu(‘Calendar Options’)
.addItem(‘Import’, ‘addToCal’)
.addToUi();
}
function addToCal() {

var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet(),
sheet = ss.getActiveSheet(),
data = sheet.getDataRange().getValues();
for (var i = 1, ok = 1, len = data.length; i < len; i++)
{
var date = data[i][0],
event = data[i][1],
location = data[i][2],
dateEvents = CalendarApp.getEventsForDay(date);

for (var j = 0, jlen = dateEvents.length; j < jlen; j++)
{
if (dateEvents[j].getTitle() == event)
{
ok = 0;
break;
}
}
if (ok)
CalendarApp.createAllDayEvent(event, date, {description: event, location: location})
.removeAllReminders();
else null;
ok = 1;
}
}

 

Notes on lines 1 – 6: This portion of the script creates the button that is visible on your Google Sheet that you would press. On line 3, this will create the individual menu (in this case Calendar Options). It will appear as the last menu item, on the same bar as “File,” “Edit,” “Tools,” etc. You may change the part that says ‘Calendar Options’ to what you would like to call it. After clicking on ‘Calendar Options’ in the sheet, you will then see the button ‘Import.’ This can be changed in line 4, where the code says .addItem(‘Import’, ‘addToCal’).

If you go down the code more, you will see this creates an all day event.

To import to your calendar, just click on “Calendar Options,” and then “Import.”

You have now created a button, and eligible scripts to import events from your Google Sheet to Google Calendars, scaling time you have spent significantly. If you would like to dig deeper into the Script Editor and create more sophisticated imports and codes, please visit Google Scripts Guide.

Until we meet again,

TechGuides Unleashed.

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