Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Tag: Password Genie

5 Ways to Keep Yourself Safe Online!

Recently, there has been a lot of news about Internet safety and password protection.  While it is important to be aware of large scale cyber-threats, it’s important to stay vigilant online all of the time.  Everyday risks via malware, viruses, and shared computers can also pose a risk to your privacy and online security.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself online that will keep you safer year-round.

  1. Change your passwords every three monthsEven if there is no known risk, it’s important to change your passwords on a regular basis.  Changing your passwords limits the risk if your data is stolen.  It’s also a good idea to change your password if you have provided it to anyone including family or trusted friends.  Do not rely on someone else to protect your identity online.
  2. Don’t use the same password for every accountWe know that it is incredibly convenient to remember one password.  However, using the same password for all accounts means that any security breach exposes the entirety of your online activity.  If remembering multiple passwords is too difficult, try Password Genie.  It protects your online experience with a single sign-in while still giving the protection that comes with password diversity.
  3. Run your updates – Those update notices that appear at the bottom of the screen aren’t just there to annoy you.  Updates often contain patches and protection against new viruses.  When you don’t run your updates, you leave your computer exposed to the newest nasty malware on the Internet.  If you don’t want to interrupt your online time, simply set your computer to restart while you are sleeping.

You may notice that there are only three tips here.  The rest will be in the May addition of our online newsletter!  To sign-up and discover even more ways to stay safe, click here.

Internet Security – Level: Completely Protected

Internet Security

We know that we talk about Internet security a lot.  However, protecting your data and privacy online is essential
to enjoying the Internet and keeping yourself safe.  In our commitment to keep the Internet as fun and protected
as possible, we use a variety of tools and tactics that you may not be aware of.  Here is a list of the ways that
Great Plains Communications works to keep you safe:

Email Guardian: If you are a Great Plains Communications webmail user, then you are already
protected by one of the best spam filters in use today.  Email guardian quarantines suspect email
so that those with viruses don’t have a chance to infect your computer.  This quarantine also lets
you see the email before it is removed from your inbox.  That reduces the chance that an email
which only looked dangerous doesn’t get tossed out before you get to read it.

Password Genie:  Even if you have a great memory, remembering the username and password combination
for every site that you visit on the Internet is very hard.  Many browsers will auto-remember your passwords, but they don’t check to see if it’s you or someone who just wants access to
your accounts.  Password genie only requires you to know one username and password combination.
Once you sign in, it supplies websites with your access information.  Since you have to sign-in, no one
else can get to your accounts.  It’s secure and easy!

SecureIT: For only $4-$6 a month, you can get total piece of mind about your computer’s safety.  SecureIT
provides anti-virus and anti-spyware protection as well as firewall protection.  It will stop you from
accidentally visiting sites that download malware to your computer and parents can even block certain sites
from kids’ computers.  Plus you get 24/7 support in case you ever have a question.

Posts on the blog:  Whenever we get a scam alert, we post about it here.  We post tips and tricks about how
to protect your online safety.  It’s a must read!

In addition to these services, Great Plains Communications is constantly keeping tabs on new
scam alerts and we do our best to make sure our customers are aware of potential issues.  We
keep consumer data completely secured, so you can be assured that everything you let us
know is completely safe!

Have any more questions about how we make sure you stay safe online?
Let us know in the comments section below.

Creating the Ultimate Password

Passwords can be tricky.  On one hand, you need something that is easy to remember.  On the other, you need passwords that aren’t easy to guess and that keep your information safe.

While creating simple passwords can be tempting, it’s only going to make it easier for hackers to break into your accounts and access your sensitive information.  In order to help keep you safe online, we have created a quick list of tips to create passwords that will truly protect you.

  • Passwords should be at least eight letters long
  • Do Include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Do Include at least one number
  • Do Include at least one non alpha-numeric symbol (&, !, *)
  • Don’t use the same password for every website
  • Don’t use words that have an obvious association to you.  (Ex: Doc1234 if you are a doctor or a pet’s name)
  • Don’t let browsers or websites auto-remember your passwords if you are on a public computer or laptop

If the challenge of remembering a password that looks like “ComPlicAted24?” seems daunting, there are programs that can help.  At Great Plains Communications, we recommend a program called Password Genie, which securely remembers your passwords for you when you are logged into your Password Genie account.

Do you have any additional tips to make your passwords as strong as possible?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Say goodbye to the frustration of forgotten passwords

For anyone who has ever struggled with remembering a password, you know just how frustrating and time consuming getting to your information can be.  Passwords aren’t going anywhere either as websites continually try to find ways to protect users and customizeyour experience on the web.

Unfortunately, the desire to avoid this frustration often leads people to use memory tricks that can expose them to security risks.  Strategies such as writing down all of your passwords and keeping the list near your computer means that anyone with access to your PC will also have access to your data. If you use the same password for everything, you risk that once one account is compromised, the hacker will have access to all of your accounts. Even letting your browser remember your passwords can be fraught with risk if you are on a public computer or others have access to your PC.

It seems like every strategy to make remembering your passwords easier just makes them easier to steal, which of course defeats the purpose of having passwords.  Sigh.

We at Great Plains Communications are big believers in keeping the Internet fun and useful, which is why we are now offering Password Genie.  This service creates an encrypted database that stores all of your passwords and automatically fills out your log-in information when you use Explorer or Firefox browsers.

The program has several benefits compared to using your browser’s “auto-remember” function.  The program is completely secure, featuring 256-bit AES encryption, which is the current standard used by online banking websites.  You will also be able to install Password Genie on up to five computers with an unlimited number of users on each device.  Even if you buy a new computer or have to re-install the program on your current computer, your passwords and usernames will still be there.