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Practical Password Advice

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We’ve all heard the advice before. When picking a password be sure to not choose a word from the dictionary, make sure to use letters, numbers and symbols and never use the same password for multiple items.

All in all, it’s good advice, but the realities of the Web are much more complicated than that. If we could all remember a string of garbled text for every site we visit, our online lives would likely be much more secure. But as humans we are fallible and, as such, we forget, we take shortcuts and we inadvertently create worse security problems.

The truth is that most “hacks” that take place on blogs and any personal account are not caused by any software vulnerability, but through either password guessing or phishing. As such, the best security step anyone can take is to ensure that you have strong passwords and that you guard them closely.

But that is something much easier said than done. So here are some practical suggestions for creating strong passwords and making them stick.

Build a Good Password

The key to building a good password is to start with something you know and build off of it. For example, start with the word “orange” in the example below and then munge it to add extra security:

  1. Base Word: orange
  2. Add Numbers: o7ran3ge
  3. Add Capitalization: O7ran3Ge
  4. Add Symbols: O7r+n3G=

The above password, according to Microsoft’s Password Checker is “Strong” and can be easily made “Best” by adding six additional characters, perhaps by including another word. However, since not all sites or services allow more than 8-10 characters in their passwords, it is important to start with a shorter one that is secure and expand it if desired.

This creates a password that, with very little effort, can be memorized and reused while still being very secure. Though passwords created this way are not perfect, this is because they are not completely random, they are more secure than jotting down passwords or having to routinely use “forgotten password” features on sites.

Create Different Passwords

Once you’ve created a highly secure password, it is important to create variations of it. The reason is two-fold. First, using the same password on multiple sites creates a security risk. Second, even if you are comfortable using your password at multiple locations, not all sites will allow you to use symbols or capitalization in your password, essentially forcing you to pick a weaker password.

There are two easy ways to do this, the first is having different levels of security for the sites you visits. For example, your banking account should have the highest level of security, meaning the final password, but a forum you join might not be as important so you could use one of the weaker passwords, such as “O7ran3Ge”. However, it is important to change it so that one with that password could not make a guess at your more secure one, so you may choose “OranGe73” instead to keep it memorable.

You can also have a “throw away” password for sites you do not trust and do not plan to give any important information to, such as a blog you are visiting just once. These passwords can be very insecure but still should not be easily guessable. For these, a pet’s name or a pattern of keys on the keyboard may make sense.

Variations on a Theme

An even more secure suggestion for creating multiple passwords is to base each password on the site you are visiting. For example, if you were to log into this site, you might begin with the first four letters in the domain.

  1. Base characters: blog
  2. Shift the Letters One Left on the Keyboard: vkif
  3. Add Numbers: 1vkif3
  4. Add Capitalization: 1VlIg3
  5. Add Symbols: 1V+kIf3%

If you can remember the pattern of how the password is created, you can easily create custom passwords for every site you register for and no two sites will have the same password. (unless they have a similar domain). Best of all, the system degrades well. If a site doesn’t allow non alpha-numeric characters, you stop at the third step.

The problem with this system is that it might slow you down, especially on sites you don’t visit a great deal as you will have to work backwards to “figure out” the password rather than simply remember it. Still, it may be a small price to pay for security.

Add a Second Layer

However, even better than building a better password is adding a second layer of authentication. This adds a layer of protection beyond what you can remember (or figure out) and connects your accounts with something that you have on your person. This also adds a layer of protection should your password be phished or otherwise stolen.

A good example of this is the PayPal Security Key. This allows you to choose between either using a keychain, which displays a series of six ever-changing numbers, or receiving text messages on your cell phone.

You can also use the keychain with Verisign’s Personal Identity Provider (PIP) service. This lets you log into sites that accept OpenID. This includes an increasingly large number of sites. You can even install a WordPress plugin that allows you to login with your OpenID, thus letting you use your keychain with your own site.

However, there are many systems that allow you to have two factors of authentication and many banks require one of them. Which factor you choose will ultimately come down to what your current service accepts, as frustrating as that is.

Bottom Line

In the end, there’s no magic bullet to good password protection. You just have to use solid, easy-to-remember passwords and be careful who you give them out to. Be smart with your passwords, practice good security on your computer and you will likely be fine.

However, one final suggestion, for those that want the most secure passwords possible, take a look at the Perfect Passwords system at GRC.com and, while you’re at the site, check out the Security Now! podcast, which a great resource for security-related issues.

it is also where many of these suggestions came from.

However, passwords aren’t rocket science, they just take a little bit of planning and a willingness to trade convenience for security, at least a little bit.

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Advanced Blogging Tip: Have a Poor Link Memory

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I create oodles of content daily. One tip to being prolific is to have a poor link memory. I forget what I published content-wise and link-wise to keep publishing content frequently. Do you know how most bloggers publish one blog post, include a link to a product and/or service, and keep checking the post again and again, to see how the link performs as far as clicks and conversions and sales and profits and money? I never do that. I have no time and energy to check how my links perform because I have a terrible link memory. I am always on to the next piece of content to create and the next link to place and the next person to help because I have a poor link memory. I forget links. This works perfectly for me; makes me super duper prolific.

Most bloggers attach to and cling to particular business links. What happens if you attach to a link? You give attention and energy to checking the link again and again instead of creating more content from a generous, prolific energy. How can you appear to be all over your niche if you check links regularly throughout the day and if you are not creating helpful, new pieces of content? You cannot be super successful if you are not prolific and you cannot be super prolific unless you have a poor link memory. Be generous, abundant and detached by forgetting links you place in posts; especially links pointing to business opportunities.

I link to my blogging course quite a bit but never get attached to any one link or blog post or guest post through which I link to it. Why? I have more fish to fry. I have more content to create and more bloggers to bond with and more folks to help and more bloggers to connect with and heck, after converting 50 more of my eBooks to paperback, I will have over 200 products about on Amazon, under the Blogging From Paradise umbrella. That is a lot of products to promote! We need to have a poor link memory to forget the prior link we promoted so we can move forward and promote more links, more content and greater blogging success. Envision yourself having an abundant mindset. What happens if you do not feel like anything seems short, scarce or running out? Being prolific is what happens. Being generous is easier if you are not burdened by any link to promote, to review and to assess regularly. I am not opposed to scanning metrics if doing so feels good and relaxing but most bloggers never take the time to assess their genuine feelings when it comes to how they feel promoting links.

I do. I am ruthless in assessing, observing, embracing and moving along my energies because watching your energy is the key to blogging success. Blogging from abundance, relaxation and trust leads to success while blogging from fear, scarcity, tension and anxiety leads to failure.

Which road do you prefer to take?

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How to Get Over the Fear Nobody Will Buy Your Product

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Ship. Publish.

Promote the heck out of the product. Unearth fears. Feel fears. See fears come true. Release fears. Sell your product. More and more folks buy your product only if you face, feel and release fears aligned with the product. If you hold the fears ya ain’t selling the product. Even if you publish a blogging product – like my blogging course – and sell it for a little bit you will not generate big sales until you fail enough to finally feel fears triggered by failure. Feeling fears clears fears which clears resistance which helps you inspire more people to buy the product.

Getting over this fear is messy. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete loser? Nope. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete fraud, or huckster, or embarrassed or ashamed? Nope. You hate trying so hard and then, no freaking people buy the course you promoted 10,000 times but doing so and feeling fears triggered simply makes it easy to promote the product, because feeling and getting over the fear makes you promote the product like you breathe. Being in that space, plenty of people see the product and more folks buy the product.

I promoted my blogging course to the tune of 8,000 page views before someone bought it. 8000 page views was nothing. I had to clear fear-resistance during the 8,000 page views to show the world how fun, freeing and inspired this course was. Fear cleared, more people bought it at 10 times the initial price versus the initial cheapy price. Raising the price ten fold? Yep; another fear for me to conquer. But I did it, and far more people bought it at $350 than at $36. See how funny fear works? You fear something, refuse to feel the fear, and struggle. But feeling the fear and doing it anyway leads to increasing success. Buy the course for a fun, entertaining, inspired blogging guide. Tis the season for celebration and joy and love and fun, helpful blogging courses.

I have no tips for nudging into fear save meditating and doing yoga frequently. Following each habit expands your awareness which helps you become intimately aware of your fears, so you can feel fears and release fears. Feels rough but this is part of the blogging journey if you want to get over the fear of selling your stuff. Hey; do you want to hurt people, mislead people or lie to people with your blogging product? No? Then just sell the thing already. Ship it. Publish it. Fear is so insidious. Fear makes you do what you do not want to do, if you trust fear. Fear causes you to tune into an alternate, illusory universe, where nothing is true and everything is lies, smoke and mirrors. Do you really want to take that road? I did not think so.

All I can do is be a cheerleader. You need to be the athlete on the court, not the fan on the sidelines. Get on the court. Publish your product. Promote your product. You will eventually face, feel and release all the fears you need to release to become a successful blogger and to sell your product successfully, too. Get in the game. People will buy your product when you get clear on it.

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Pro Blogging Tip: Release Expectations

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Ouch.

Am I asking you to be a Blogging Buddha? Nope. Not really. No one save enlightened beings completely releases expectations but us mere mortals clinging some to a worldly life can largely release expectations, to become successful and to enjoy the blogging journey. 10 minutes ago, I checked my email. I received a few. I clearly make it difficult to get in touch with me through email because I want to give most attention and energy to building a passive income empire. Every second I spend in email, I could be spending creating content and building connections. Knowing this, it feels good to receive few emails because it helps me scale and move forward from an abundant energy.

Unfortunately, most bloggers have heavy expectations when it comes to receiving email. Bloggers expect a chock filled inbox, with all types of clients, Paypal payments and sponsored post deals. What happens if you get 3 emails daily, all responses to comments? Your expectations not being met levels you, depressing you, making you sad, sapping your energy. If you expect some sweet outcome and reality is not delivering you the outcome to fulfill the expectation, you eventually lose your blogging motivation and quit. Or you make the massive mistake of quitting after seeing your expectations fall short, then, you begin blogging again, quit again after expectations are unfulfilled, and you suffer through this vicious cycle until you fail and quit for good.

Release expectations. Begin blogging with an intent to live your dreams but let go the anchor of expectation because either you feel hopeless after not getting what you expected or you feel average when expectations line up or you feel super high and excited after exceeding expectations, leading to an imminent crash after your emotions settle down. Expectations are anchors, pulling you down, holding you back, preventing meteoric blogging growth. I expect little to nothing blogging-wise because my day is about having fun helping people to blog successfully. I cannot go wrong whether I sell a copy of my blogging course or not because I have no expectations; I just promote the course in a seeming billion places (coming soon) and leave things at that.

If anything, allow a little part of yourself to desire some expectation but make it tiny. Why? If the expectation does not come true quickly, you will keep blogging from an energetic, relaxed, abundant vibe, positioning yourself to succeed. Harboring wee expectations means you remain unstirred if the expectations do not manifest; no crushed, hopeless feeling. Meanwhile, most bloggers with grand, wild expectations often slam into tons of resistance because no spectacular dream comes through and manifest overnight. Living your dream life through blogging requires years and thousands upon thousands of hours of generous service.

Blog for an absolute love of blogging. Be passionate about the blogging process. Release largely on outcomes because weighing yourself down with expectations slows you down. Imagine desiring big blogging bucks only to see an empty inbox for the next 3 months? 90 plus days, zero dollars. After the 90th day, most bloggers quit blogging for good, because they came up so short on their expectations, being frustrated, disgusted, and tired of wasting their time.

Fall in love with the process – not outcomes – to fuel yourself for your blogging journey.

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