25 Worst Passwords of 2011 [STUDY]

noviembre 18, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en 25 Worst Passwords of 2011 [STUDY]

Pro tip: choosing “password” as your online password is not a good idea. In fact, unless you’re hoping to be an easy target for hackers, it’s the worst password you can possibly choose.

“Password” ranks first on password management application provider SplashData’s annual list of worst internet passwords, which are ordered by how common they are. (“Passw0rd,” with a numeral zero, isn’t much smarter, ranking 18th on the list.)

The list is somewhat predictable: Sequences of adjacent numbers or letters on the keyboard, such as “qwerty” and “123456,” and popular names, such as “ashley” and “michael,” all are common choices. Other common choices, such as “monkey” and “shadow,” are harder to explain.

As some websites have begun to require passwords to include both numbers and letters, it makes sense varied choices, such as “abc123″ and “trustno1,” are popular choices.

SplashData created the rankings based on millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers. Here is the complete list:

1. password
2. 123456
3.12345678
4. qwerty
5. abc123
6. monkey
7. 1234567
8. letmein
9. trustno1
10. dragon
11. baseball
12. 111111
13. iloveyou
14. master
15. sunshine
16. ashley
17. bailey
18. passw0rd
19. shadow
20. 123123
21. 654321
22. superman
23. qazwsx
24. michael
25. football

SplashData CEO Morgan Slain urges businesses and consumers using any password on the list to change them immediately.

“Hackers can easily break into many accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords,” Slain says. “Even though people are encouraged to select secure, strong passwords, many people continue to choose weak, easy-to-guess ones, placing themselves at risk from fraud and identity theft.”

The company provided some tips for choosing secure passwords in a statement:

1. Vary different types of characters in your passwords; include numbers, letters and special characters when possible.
2. Choose passwords of eight characters or more. Separate short words with spaces or underscores.
3. Don’t use the same password and username combination for multiple websites. Use an online password manager to keep track of your different accounts.
Are these lists helpful? Do you need to rethink any of your password choices? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, peepo

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How to shut your computer down automatically at the same time every day

septiembre 3, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to shut your computer down automatically at the same time every day

Want to make sure your Windows 7 computer shuts down at the same time every day (or night) without having to go through the shutdown process manually? All you have to do is create a scheduled task. Here’s how:

  1. Click the Start button and in the search box, type Scheduled tasks
  2. Click the item when it appears in the search results list under “Control Panel.”
  3. In the Task Scheduler console, in the Actions pane on the right, click “Create Basic Task …”.
  4. In the Wizard page that opens, give the task a name such as “Shutdown” and write a description (if you want) such as “Shuts down the computer at 1:00 a.m. every day.”
  5. Click Next.
  6. On the Task Trigger page, select “Daily” and click Next.
  7. On the Start Date and Time page, fill in the date and time you want to begin (such as 9/10/11 and 1:00 a.m.) and click Next.
  8. On the Action page, click “Start a Program” and click Next.
  9. On the Start a Program page, in the Program/script field, type:
  10. C:WindowsSystem32shutdown.exe
  11. Windows is installed on a drive other than C, substitute that drive letter.
  12. Click Next.
  13. Review the Summary page and click Finish.
  14. Now Windows will automatically shut down at 1:00 a.m. each day. You’ll get a pop-up notification telling you, before it does so, that “Windows will shut down in less than a minute.”

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How to create a Windows 7 Backup Image

agosto 27, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to create a Windows 7 Backup Image

Sur e, you back up all your important data files, but a nice feature of Windows 7’s built-in backup program is that it can create a complete system backup image, which will restore all your programs and settings too. Here’s how to do
It:

  1. Click Start and in the Search box, type Backup
  2. Click Backup and Restore in the list of programs shown
  3. In the left pane, click Create A System Image
  4. Select a location where you want to save the system image. It should not be on the same partition where Windows is installed
  5. Click Next
  6. Choose which drive to back up. To back up your operating system and program files, select the drive where Windows is installed, usually C:
  7. Click Start Backup

After the backup finishes (which could take a while if you have lots of programs and/or data), click Create a System Repair Disk in the left pane
Insert a blank DVD or CD and click Create Disk Now you can use the System Repair Disk and your system image to restore your computer.

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How to create a key combination to eject your optical drive

agosto 20, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to create a key combination to eject your optical drive

They say CD and DVD drives are going the way of the dinosaur soon, but in the meantime, many of us still use them – for installing software, for backing up data, for transferring data from one computer to another, for watching movies or playing music. Sure, you can eject the disc by pushing the hardware button or going through the menu, but if you’re a keyboard wizard who hates to remove your hands from the home keys, wouldn’t it be handy to have a key combo to do it? Here’s how to do

  1. Download NirCmd from Nirsoft (link at the bottom of the instructions).
  2. Right click on the desktop or in Windows Explorer and select New, then Shortcut. You need to first create a shortcut to which you can assign the key combination.
  3. In the “Location” field, type the path to where you saved the nircmd.exe file, and at the end of it, add “cdrom open , with quotes around the path, so the entry looks like this if you saved the NirCmd utility to a folder called SavedStuff on drive C and your CD drive is D: “c:SavedStuffircmd.exe” cdrom open D:
  4. Name the shortcut and put it wherever you want. You can put it on the desktop and double click it to eject the CD that way.
  5. Right click the shortcut icon and select Properties.
  6. Click the Shortcut tab.
  7. In the “Shortcut key” field, choose the key combination you want to use to eject the CD and click OK.

Here’s where you can download the free NirCmd tool, which you’ll note does more than just eject discs:
http://www.win7news.net/110818-Nir-Sofer

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How to customize the shutdown button

agosto 13, 2011 - Leave a Response

By default, at the bottom right of the Windows 7 start menu is a button labeled “Shut down.” If you want to restart, log off, or put the computer to sleep instead, you have to click the arrow to the right and select the action from the drop-down menu. It’s not as if that takes a lot of time, but if you almost never shut the computer down and often need to log off and log back onto a different account, for example, you might want to change the button so you can do your most frequently used tasks with one click. Here’s how:

  1. Right click the Start button on the taskbar
  2. Select Properties
  3. Click the Start Menu tab
  4. Under “Power button action,” select the action that you want to be the default for the button.
  5. Click OK

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How to customize the CTRL+ALT+DEL screen in Windows 7 Pro and above

agosto 6, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to customize the CTRL+ALT+DEL screen in Windows 7 Pro and above

When you press the key combination CTRL+ALT+DEL in Windows 7 (and Vista), you get a screen that shows you a number of options, including locking the computer, changing your password, logging off, and starting Task Manager. You can customize this screen to show only those options you want to see, using Group Policy – if you’re running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate edition. Here’s how:

  1. Click Start
  2. In the Search box, type gpedit.msc and press ENTER to open the Group Policy Editor
  3. In the left pane, navigate to and click on User Configuration | Administrative Templates
  4. In the right pane, double click the folder name “Ctrl+Alt+Del Options”
  5. In the right pane, you’ll see the items that you can remove (for example, “Remove Lock Computer”). To remove one, double click it and click Enabled to enable the policy and remove the item from the screen menu
  6. When you’re finished, click Apply and then OK

To see the change, press CTRL+ALT+DEL

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How to turn a USB thumb drive into a Windows 7 installation disk

julio 23, 2011 - Leave a Response

If you need to install Windows 7 on a computer that has no DVD drive and you don’t have a network connection to install from a shared DVD drive on another computer, you can install the OS from a USB thumb drive. Make sure it has plenty of free space for the installation files (I used a clean 32 GB drive). You will need to wipe everything on the drive so be sure to back up any data you have there to a different location. Here are the steps to follow to prepare the USB drive.

1.- the USB drive into a computer that does have a DVD drive.
Click Start and in the search box, type
cmd
and press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to open the command prompt with administrative
privileges
2.- At the command prompt, type
diskpart
At the DISKPART> prompt, type
list disk
3.- Type
select disk
replacing with the number of the USB disk from the list of disks
Type
clean
Type
create partition primary
Type
active
Type
format fs=fat32 quick
Type
assign
Type
exit
Type
exit The above is not a typo. You need to type “exit” twice, once to exit the DISKPART utility and then again to close the command

Now you can insert the Windows 7 installation disc and copy all files to the USB drive. To use it to install Windows 7, insert it in the computer where you want to install the OS, make sure the BIOS is set to boot from the USB drive first, and boot up to begin the Windows setup process.

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How to use location-aware printing

julio 16, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to use location-aware printing

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Windows 7 has a cool new feature that lets you automatically switch the default printer when you move from one network to another (for example, when you move your laptop from your home network to your work network). Here’s how you set it up:

1.- Click Start and in the search box, type Devices
2.- Click the link for Devices and Printers (You can also get to this through the Control Panel)
3.- Select a printer and click Manage Default Printers (note that you won’t see this on desktop computers, only on mobile devices)
4.- Choose “Change my default printer when I change networks”
5.- Select a network, select the default printer you want to use when on that network and click Add
6.- Do the same for each available network (If you’re at home, you obviously will have to wait until you’re at work where the work network is available before you can set up the default printer for that one)

Now when you connect to a new network, Windows 7 will automatically switch to the default printer that you specified for

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How to change the size or resolution of a photo with Paint

julio 9, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to change the size or resolution of a photo with Paint

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1.- Open Paint by clicking the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Paint.
2.- Click the Paint button, click Open, click the picture you want to resize, and then click Open.
3.- On the Home tab, in the Image group, click Resize.
4.- In the Resize and Skew dialog box, select the Maintain aspect ratio check box so that the resized picture will have the same aspect ratio as the original picture. If the Maintain aspect ratio check box is selected, you only need to enter the horizontal value (width) or vertical value (height). The other box in the Resize area is updated automatically.
5.- Do one of the following in the Resize area, and then click OK: To resize your picture by a certain percentage, click Percentage, and then enter a percentage to reduce the width by in the Horizontal box or a percentage to reduce the height by in the Vertical box. To resize the picture so it’s a specific size, click Pixels, and then enter a new width in the Horizontal box or new height in the Vertical box.
6.- Click the Paint button, point to Save as, and then click the picture file type for the resized image.
7.- Type a new file name in the File name box, and then click Save.

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How to change the listening port for Remote Desktop connections

julio 2, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to change the listening port for Remote Desktop connections

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As some readers noted in response to last week’s editorial about Windows 7 Remote Desktop, you can increase security by changing the default port through which RDP connects (normally port 3389). Here’s how:

1.- Open your registry editor and navigate to the following location:
2.- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ TerminalServer \ WinStations \ RDP-Tcp\PortNumber
3.- Click Edit | Modify
4.- In the properties box, click Decimal
5.- Type in the new port number that you want to use (should be a port not in use by any other protocol)
6.- Click OK
7.- Close the registry editor and reboot the computer to apply the change

To connect via Remote Desktop over the Internet to a computer on a non-default port, when you enter the computer name in the Remote Desktop Connection client, add a colon and the port number (for example: Computername:3390).

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