Monthly Archives: October 2007

Vampire Electricity on Halloween

Happy Halloween, everyone! No, I don’t have a picture of all of us in wigs (and it’s not because I didn’t think of it, or don’t have enough wigs), sorry. But I did run into such a timely article today, I can’t help linking to it.

Apparently things like leaving charged phones and PDAs plugged into their chargers, as well as PCs and TVs in sleep or standby mode, and all those other things quietly running when not being used, take a lot of electricity. It’s now being called vampire electricity, and there’s an interesting and timely story here. My favorite quote is:

In California, lawmakers passed a proposal last year – dubbed the Vampire Slayers Act – to add vampire electronics labels to consumer products, detailing how much energy a charger, computer, DVD player, PlayStation, microwave or coffee maker uses when on, off or in standby mode.

Happy National Identity Fraud Prevention Week

OK, I realize it’s not as much fun as Talk Like a Pirate Day, but this is National Identity Fraud Prevention Week, at least in the UK. And there are some pretty scary stats (from a survey by McAfee) in this article, including:

  • 43% of respondents never change their password
  • 24% use the same password to access all online accounts
  • 59% ‘always’ or ‘mostly’ use the same password for everything
  • 30% of respondents surveyed use passwords of only one-to-six characters in length
  • 22% use only alpha characters

While I don’t believe everything I read on the internet, and I do understand that surveying a few thousand McAfee users isn’t the most representative group, the numbers are still pretty alarming.

Strong passwords, changed frequently, aren’t that hard to use. They’re hard to remember, but tools like eWallet mean that you don’t have to. eWallet – and other password managers – will safely store, and even generate, all your passwords.

Whether you use eWallet or not (and of course I hope you do), you should use good security – both online and off. Identity theft and other fraud is becoming more and more common, and it’s a real problem. Using good passwords, and shredding your paper info are two of the easiest and most effective way to protect yourself.

If you’re using passwords that are easy to crack, or haven’t changed them in a while, or use the same one too many places, change them now. Don’t put it off.

And to encourage and help everyone to use strong passwords, we’re giving half off eWallet (Professional Edition) until Monday, October 15. Use the following links to purchase eWallet at this special price for your: Pocket PC, Windows Mobile Smartphone, or Palm OS handheld. Remember, these come with the Windows PC version as well, so start protecting yourself now!

Trick or Treat!

pumpkin_head.jpgYes, October is upon us. In honor of Halloween, I’ve decided to retire the usual “man chasing carrot” contest graphic for something a little more festive. But don’t despair – this is still the same ol’ first day of the month contest post you’ve come to know and love!

This month the lucky winner is Andrew R., who commented on the post ListPro 6.0. Congratulations! I just sent you an email explaining how to get your prize. If you don’t receive it, reply to this post and let me know.

Thanks to everyone for all the great comments, and be sure to keep visiting, because next month the winner could be you!