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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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How to Better Handle Blogging Obstacles

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Take a breath.

Now, take a deep breath.

This, too, shall pass.

Every blogging obstacle dissolves into opportunity the moment you breathe, slow down and calm down. Nothing good happens fighting obstacles because your fighting gives attention to the obstacle, making the obstacle grow into something big and scary. But breathing deeply, feeling the fear fueling the obstacle, and letting go the fear-obstacle alerts you the transitory nature of the block, and how it passes into solution.

Better handle blogging obstacles by following a few tips.

1: Take a Deep Breath

Breathe. Take 1-5 deep, slow breaths. Breathing slows down your mind, thoughts and feelings. Slowing down everything allows you to be in the moment, to feel the fear fueling obstacles. Simple process but few bloggers take this step so obstacles appear to run wild.

Take a deep breath, now. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings. Breathing deeply and relaxing expands your awareness. Do you feel nervous now or anxious? Do you fear some obstacle related to time, and losing it? Breathing deeply allows you to be here and now, to feel fears fueling obstacles.

2: Feel the Fear

Fear fuels obstacles. What is a blogging obstacle but fear you cannot get past something? Imagine seeing the white screen of death on your blog. How would it feel? Scary? Why? You fear you cannot get past your blog being a white screen. Other fears cascade into mind; fear of losing readers, fear of losing money, fear of losing reputation, fear of being criticized.

Be with these fears. Feel the fears. You cannot solve obstacles being burdened by fear for you only see what appears to stop you, not solutions, being shackled by fear. Feel fear, release and proceed.

3: See the Opportunity

Opportunities plant themselves in obstacles. Imagine facing some pressing backoffice issue, tech-wise, blogging-wise. You received an opportunity to:

  • learn more about tech, to solve the problem
  • hire a web developer to solve the problem, outsourcing
  • ask your readers and Facebook friends how to solve the problem, humbling yourself

Every blogging obstacle dissolves the moment you breathe deep, feel fears and relax, because opportunities arise in response to following these steps.  Everything is abundance. Everything is opportunity. Fear is illusion so obstacles cannot be real.

4: Invest in a Resource

Do you always seem to be getting tripped up by blogging obstacles?

Buy my eBook:

10 Powerful Strategies for Knifing through Blogging Obstacles

Resources offer you complete guides to reference when times get tough. Minds race. Feelings fluctuate wildly. But breathing, feeling fear, seeing opportunities, and having a resource in your blogging library levels you out, calms you and helps you find solutions quickly.

Obstacles Are Not that Scary

Blogging obstacles are not that scary if you know to solve these mental blocks. Few bloggers put a strategy into place for handling blogging crisis so they panic, struggle and fight foolishly through resistance. Following a few steps alerts you: blogging is not so hard and facing obstacles need not be some endless nightmare creating hours, days or weeks of panic. You are a human, not a tree. Use your awareness, follow these steps and knife gracefully thru obstacles toward greater blogging success

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3 Tips for Bonding with Blogging Influencers

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Forget traditional influencer marketing. We want to go deeper.

Bloggers teach influencer marketing from a less genuine space sometimes. Imagine learning how to try to get someone to do something for you. Manipulation marketing. Fear-based marketing. Problems arise; spam folders become your landing spot. I observe a decent percentage of influencer marketing emails in my spam folder because fear-pitches get labeled as spam and become spam, 100% of the time.

What is the solution? Learn how to bond with blogging influencers.

I remember people who befriend me. I admire people who endorse me or promote me. I appreciate people who buy my course or eBooks. I love people who generously help me for months. Guess what? Bonding with established bloggers influences the influencers. I do stuff for dear blogging friends I do not do for anybody else. If a friend sends me a guest post and their writing is tight, I place it. Even if said post spans 1000 words or more – my minimum count is 600 – I place it without hesitating. Friends found my heart. Friends influenced me through kindness and generosity. I am largely putty in their blogging hands.

Instead of trying to manipulate a successful stranger, bond with a friend. Change your approach to influencer marketing. Make friends. Help without asking. In time, blogging bonds form organically. If you practice writing, the world becomes your oyster because influencers take you to new levels of success, without you even asking.

Follow these tips to bond with influencers.

1: Buy a Resource

The best way to bond with an influencer is to get inside their heads.

Influential bloggers had to influence influential bloggers on the way up to become influential. Invest in a resource like my influential blogger eBook to learn how influencers do it. Speak their language. Connect. Take their viewpoint. Learn how to be influential yourself.

When you discover how to be influential through my resource you in essence, learn how to influence, influencers, by bonding with these pros.

2: Spend a Few Months Giving Not Asking

Bloggers I remember, then befriend, spend at least a few months giving and not asking. Someone buys my course, publishes 10 comments on my blog, and retweets my posts 10 or 20 times during a 3 month period. These people pop up on my radar screen because they gave and asked for nothing. Bonds form. Friendships develop.

Retweet fellow bloggers. Help them. Feature fellow bloggers. Open your blog to guest posting. Guest post on other blogs. Comment genuinely on blogs. Buy products.

Ask for nothing, for at least 3-4 months. Allow friendships to form organically. Blogging friends help each other because blogging friends trust each other. Influential bloggers fall into this helping lot too, as you generously serve them, ask for nothing and polish your writing skills. I gained more endorsements from pros by being generous than through any other method. Help influential bloggers. Ask for nothing. Influential bloggers help you without you asking for a darn thing.

3: Never Rush the Process

Some blogger friend requested me on Facebook a few moments ago. I scanned my messages to see his business pitch in the “other” folder. He simply rushed the process of pitching an established blogger. I appreciate the friend request but pitching your business before generously helping me ensures I ignore all future messages. He rushed the process so I let him go.

Perhaps he smartens up and begins helping me generously without asking for anything. After a few months of helping me and asking for nothing, we bond. We become friends. From there, the opportunities are limitless. Even if I do not use his service, if he has skills and a reputable business model I can share his services with my readers.

Good things take some time. Never rush the bonding process.

Allow bonds to form organically to do influencer marketing right.

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How Do Blogging and Fitness Relate?

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I spend 3 hours daily honing my mental and physical fitness.

In truth, you can and will succeed online following simple fundamentals from a generous, detached energy. No need to be fit to go full time blogging. But if you feel bad because your body feels bad and your mind fears losing it all, have you succeeded? I do not believe so.

I wrote an eBook sharing my daily regimen to explain what many of you readers want to know: how do I do it all? I am no blogging god. I am just human. But I write and connect quite a bit. People wish to know how I wrote 100 plus eBooks in addition to all the other stuff I do while circling the globe. Well, blogging and fitness are 2 peas in a pod for me. Both play a big role if you desiring leveling up and feeling good predominantly as you enjoy the ride.

Blogging and Fitness

Let’s say you wake up on a Monday morning as a full time employee who blogs part time. Feeling terrible and dreading work, why write and publish a post? Too busy. Do it later. Put off the post until tonight. But you feel too tired that night. Repeat this cycle for 3 months. 90 days passed. Still no blog post. Why? You filled your mind with fear and pain. Manifesting as blogging loss, backburnering the post for 3 months indicates fear in mind. Why fear? 100% of the time, fear dominates minds of people who spend zero time on mental fitness, never meditating or doing deep yin yoga or observing their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time, these same folks dominated by their own fears never commit seriously to being physically fit through exercising.

Feel good by caring for your mind and body. Vibe higher than fears crippling most bloggers. Imagine the above scenario with one difference: you devote 1-2 hours daily exercising and raising your energy via mindset training. Devote 30 minutes to power walking and 30 minutes to deep yin yoga. On waking that Monday morning, either a blog post idea finds you and you write the post, or after a few uncomfortable moments and feelings, the idea flows to you and you write the post.

I cannot explain this process logically because it flows 100% emotionally, feelings-wise. Visualize yourself in moments you feel really good. All seems possible. Ideas flow to you. Opportunities flow to you. Why? Feeling good magnetizes you to freeing, success-promoting ideas. Being fit mentally and physically is the easiest way to feel good most of the time. Plus in those moments you feel bad mentally and physically, you face, feel and release the bad feelings, quickly, because you feel mentally and physically fit, predominantly.

Gratitude

Being fit naturally alerts you to the success-promoting idea of gratitude. Gratitude builds blogging success because seeing every penny of income, every blog comment and all interest in your blogging courses feels awesome to you. Feeling awesome inspires you to blog for years generously. Blogging generously for years makes you successful.

Corey at the Good Oil Marketing retweeted my blogging course recently. I feel grateful he spread the word for me considering he is a successful, high level marketer. I feel these feelings and build on my success because I feel grateful. I feel grateful because I trained my mind and body to feel good, through being fit daily, in order to tune into appreciation easily.

Get fit.

Don’t quit.

Be a successful blogger by being mentally and physically fit.

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