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How to enter passwords in a shared environment

Shade your password

All you find here is just an English abstract.
This subject is more extensively dealt with in Italian.

Entering passwords and sensitive data into computers run at internet-caf├ęs, hotels, libraries,… is highly unsafe as these systems are often set to log anything you type on your keyboard. Moreover, such kind of internet connetions are particularly easy to sniff

A few steps for you in order to minimize the risk

  • Avoid entering serious data: no matter what these data are, avoid entering them. In case you must skip this first point, try the others at least.
  • Check that your connection is encrypted (https://...) as you enter login data.
    In case you connection is not encrypted, you’d better refrain from entering passwords at all, no matter how. Read more on the subject.
  • Strong passwords adoption should be a standard for you, anytime.
  • Shuffle letters or blocks as you type your passwords in.
    Example: if your password is  donaldduck  try and type  duck  then move the cursor with your mouse at the beginning of the fiels and type  donald.
  • Do not type but copy and paste letters and numbers from any other part of the screen into the password field.
  • Use a virtual keyboard for entering at least part of your text. Virtual keyboards usually do not feed keyloggers.
  • Adopt some anti-monitoring software like SpyShelter (some are free)

Such an approach will keep you safe most of the time. There is no 100% solution, though.

Please read further (in Italian)…

Strong Passwords How-To

Password for sleeping by Frits Ahlefeldt

First and foremost: lots of people are busy everyday trying to spy you on your social accounts (facebook, twitter,…) and email services (gmail,…), as well as other commercial accounts (amazon, paypal,…), banks, and any other relevant service you might have online.

Second, and not less important to be considered: you are likely to be spied on not only by thieves, but also by regular police officers, secret services of any sort, their robots and other more or less legal (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?) services anywhere in the world. In most cases they gather their informations about you closer to the source than regular people would be allowed to (i.e. give them the way to circumvent any security wall your private account may have, or they may tap into main internet gateway servers, or also they are directly fed with informations concerning you by your accounts providers). At times you might also find them disguised as friends or followers on any social site or mailing system you use everyday.

All that said and known, still the main point is that good, strong passwords are vital if you use your computer and the internet in your daily life.
Never ever use easy, widely adopted passwords like: QWERTYUIOP, 1234567890, password, abc123, and the like. Also, never use common names or words straight out of any dictionary.
Instead try and create some better passwords: if you need some help try this password generator.

The bottom line is, of course, that you should refrain from using electronics and advanced technology in case you have something you really want to keep secret.
Old ink and paper wins again, maybe.

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