iSecure: Narrative

This is our Twitter link for this article

Chelsea R:

  1. Ever feel like your personal information is being violated by others? Well, iSecure is a new app for kids as young as elementary to adults who have everyday jobs. This app can be downloaded on your smartphone. iSecure provides a useful means to share documents under tight security. To get started, new members will need to click the the sign up button. Complete the registration and your profile information.

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  1. To download this app, go to the app store on your smartphone. DeVoss and Porter states that “ they want a “free net.” The Internet of course is not free” Well, The app is totally free.Once it’s downloaded, this screen will appear and you will be ready to secure your files! (DeVoss and Porter, pg. 192).

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  1. To begin, fill out the iSecure registration information which includes your full name, username, password, email, and other personal information. Also, it is important to make sure you agree with the Terms and conditions of iSecure. According to DeVoss and Porter, “Think of it as a set of guidelines governing the relationship between writers, readers, and publishers.” So, You can’t move on without agreeing!(DeVoss and Porter,pg.185).

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  1. Once you are registered for the app, you are then able to use your username and password that you created from the start. “Critics accuse the computer of promoting homogeneity…” says Bolter. So, your username and password will help keep all of your files and other things safe from being copied by someone else. Click the Sign Up button and begin! (Bolter,pg.11)

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  1. The iSecure set up is a simple and easy process. The first step to setting up your profile for iSecure is filling out personal information you want to share with others. This includes your birthday, interests, education, and many more.

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Julia M:

  1. The second step to setting up your iSecure app is creating a profile picture for your account for you and your friends to see. You will be asked to either upload a saved photo from your phone or take a new photo on your smartphones camera. However, if you chose to not upload a picture to your profile, that is ok too. In a previously read article by Danielle Devoss and James Porter, these two authors discuss the idea that came out after Napster’s death, such as “We thus use the term ‘post-Napster’ to symbolize the death of Napster as it was originally conceived: a space for free file-sharing and for consumption not framed by costs and fees but by an ethic of open distribution and collaboration” (Devoss, Porter 182).

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  1. The next step is a fun way to get connected with your friends securely! You can search friends through your contacts on your smartphone or by email, it’s your choice. Simply add your friend by clicking the + button. They will get the request notification in the inbox and then chose to confirm.

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  1. This last and final step is creating your secret password for iSecure. (probably the most important step) This password is confidential only between you and your friends. An important thing about this step is to not forget to inform your friends through messaging the confirmation of the password. And remember; you now have two passwords! One to log on, and one between your friends.

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  1. Congratulations! This screen will appear when you have completed the registration process. You are officially a member of iSecure! By clicking on the Get Started button, you will be transferred to the Home Page. As Bolter expresses in his article ‘Writing in the Late Age of Print,’ Word processors already demonstrate the flexibility of electronic writing and allowing writers to copy, compare and discard texts with the touch of a few buttons (Bolter, J.D. 9).

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  1. This leads me to presenting the homepage. This page offers different links to test and try out. You will see icons that show the features that the app provides. You can then click the profile icon to be transferred to your profile. This will allow you to be able to edit certain features and begin your writing! Electronic technology provides a range of new possibilities, where as the possibilities of print seem to have been played out. (Bolter, J.D. 2)

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Jim A:

  1. This profile page is just like any other one either on another app, a website, or blog. This includes your picture, personal information, interests, and many more.

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  1. From your home page, you can also have access to different sites by linking to sites such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, and even WordPress to your friends. Click on the site of your choice to begin linking. This takes the idea of the building of the Open access network (free worldwide file sharing) as mentioned in Devoss & Porters article on Napster (Devoss & Porters 196)

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  1. You can now start sharing and linking files from the site. You will be taken to that site through iSecure. Then you would select the file from your computer or smartphone by clicking the “Add File” button. These overwhelming features are similar to idea of how humanity was dealing with the rise of the computer, in today’s case the smart phone (Bolter 23-26)

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  1. iSecure can also send live messages while your friends are using the app with you. First you select a friend, then type your message just like a regular text message, allowing communication solely through the app. This form of messaging is a product of the early PC in the 1970’s, particularly the multi-user domains, used by authors to improvise scenes for stories (Turkle 1, 4).

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  1. This app not only allows you to communicate with others, but share media such as pictures and videos. Simply click the icon to open your “camera roll” to select pictures and videos from your phone. Then drag the select image/video into your friends box to share.

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Alexis L:

16.When you receive messages, pictures, videos, or links from your iSecure friends, they will go directly to your inbox which can be accessed through your home page strictly on the app, this feature still follows proper ethics of delivery hi-lighted by Danielle Devoss and James Porter by still being able to identify original authors and senders, just in a more secretive and secure way (Devoss Porter 197).

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  1. iSecure serves as another one of “semi-closed platforms” termed Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff. Another App that separates the internet from the web. You can navigate through iSecure and it’s features through the “Settings” option which can be found on your homepage. It’s here you can log off and deactivate your account if need be (Anderson, Wolff, 1).

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  1. One unique feature about this app that makes it more secure is there is no home screen icon that appears on the home page of your phone’s screen to access it. To open the app, you simply go to make a phone call, type in the numbers that coordinate to your password used to sign up for the app followed by the pound key, simply go to place the call, and the app will automatically open.

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  1. Since there is no icon for this app, when someone sends something through iSecure, to be notified, the numbers to your collaborating password will show up as a missed call making you aware that you need to check your App. This allows you to be able to have full privacy so no ones of your secret messages.

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  1. The final unique feature iSecure offers, is the quick and easy way to close out of the app. To close out of iSecure, simply wave or give your phone a quick shake. The motion censors on your smartphone will know to immediately quit the app and return you to your phones home screen. It’s the small security features such as this that as Bolter would  say “refashion” or “remediate” the types of security features we are typically used too on our phones today (Bolter 23).

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Works cited

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iSecure: rationale

Our app iSecure, puts an emphasis on keeping your most treasured writing works in a secure working space in a cloud.  Through a secure password provided network, it keeps unwanted eyes, such as hackers, away from stealing your ideas.  Compatible for any smart phone or table, you can go anywhere composing your texts, hassle free and leak free.  It can even be used on the computer as well.

The features iSecure include: password protection, the ability to organize your documents, as well as a drag and drop capability to secure any file.  It can be used for any digital format, including the sharing of video.  When sharing to others it provides a security clearance to receive the documents, went sent by the writer.  It can be sent to one’s phone, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and even one’s writing blog.

Much of what the features of this app, relate to the theories and ideas of the future of writing.  It bares similarities to Devoss and Porter’s argument for file sharing in terms of the concerns of hackers as well as the government violating your privacy (Devoss & Porter 190-92).  It bares similarities to Bolter’s idea of sharing work, which is similar to writer’s blogs, electronic book sites as well as social media (Bolter 5).  While all of these unite people through communication and the sharing of information, iSecure ensures that all of this is handled securely to the recipient (Bolter 11-13).

The research we have done as a group on our Word Press group “Do Not Distrub”, relates to the features of iSecure.  The topic we discuss in our page talk about internet/password security, concerns of privacy invasions as well apps for writing.  With what iSecure provides, it is a useful for tool for anyone including the aspiring writer.

A Lesson in Internet Security

A fellow blogger of mine posted this on her twitter account

A recent article from Voice of America, Study: People Ignore Computer Warnings, focuses on the concerns for people’s attention towards their safety on the computer.  This study mentions a group of researchers at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah, testing the psychology behind this issue on a particular matter.  They tested computer user’s tendencies when their computer either has a virus or other potentially harmful intrusions.  Although the students said before that they were deeply concerned about their safety on the internet, the following paragraph says otherwise.

The procedure was that the students bring their own laptops, while playing a game identifying pictures of the superhero, Batman, as being animated or photographed.  Each user was making their selections, while warnings of potential malware popped up on the screen.  In spite of the warnings the students ignored these and they were given a notice that their computer was being hacked.  However, the threats to the student’s laptops were fake and no real harm was done.  On the other hand, it contradicted the concerns of the students’ attitudes towards internet safety, as mentioned earlier.

Anthony Vance, a professor of information systems at BYU, concluded that the students who were ignoring these messages were going through a process of habituation.  This means that the participants in the experiment discounted the warnings numerous times, due to its common reoccurrence.  Professor Vance believed that if the brain responded better to these messages than they can interpret them as being a threat to their computer.  He proposed that one way to do so is to make the warnings fresher in the persons mind.  This proposition means that these cautions would be more unique each time they pop up on the screen.

In my opinion, we see these warnings as being similar to pop up adds that we see on occasions while browsing the web as a distraction.  When we see any window or advertisement while browsing Facebook or Youtube show up on our screen, we try to ignore it.  Sometimes we see warnings on our computer as a potential security threat due to the fact that it is not from our own security software.  In the end, there is no certainty on telling what is safe on the internet.

There have been certain ways in which I have made my computer more secure.  In the last two years, I have used two different security programs for my laptop.  I have used Trend Micro Security and Microsoft Security Essentials, but it has only been Microsoft that has worked well.  It has uncovered more viruses and malware that have hit my computer more than Trend Micro.  During the summer my laptop was discovered to have 23 viruses that Trend failed to stop.  After that, I got rid of Trend and went to Microsoft for security purposes. There are many other anti-virus programs to use for your computer as well as your smart phone.  While each one’s features vary in reliability, it is best to install the one fit for yourself.

To avoid mistaking potential computer warnings as being annoying ads, I have found software to block them as a means of sorting them apart.  For my internet browser, Google Chrome, I currently use Ad Block to remove ads when I browse pages such as Facebook, Hulu and, my most commonly used site, YouTube.  It has been the most effective software that I have used for these unwanted pop ups, while browsing through the network.

What the results of the Brigham Young University study had shown is no different from our own problems on the internet.  While we, along with the participants, act as if we are careful with our own computer security, in truth we tend to blindly ignore warnings about potential malware.  While there is plenty of advice as mentioned above, it is best to be as careful on the internet and don’t go on sites that we deem suspicious.

How to Write a Blog Post in Just 30 Minutes: Review

A fellow Classmate of mine posted this article on her Twitter account

In the web blog, Entrepreneur, one of the posts, How to Write a Blog Post in Just 30 Minutes, author Mel Carson talks about a productive and speedy way in creating such posts for business.  He encourages business people to independently write them down without the use of any highly expensive press-release companies.  Although he originally intended this article for business people, this can also serve as a guide line for anyone creating a blog post.  Throughout his article, he gives five pieces of advice in generating business posts for anyone to promote their company, which can apply for any kind of blogger or even a writer.

  1. Create a content calendar– Select topics to write about and place them in a calendar that extends over the next two months.
  2. Categorize your content– List each of the potential topics you want to post about and then define their subject and purpose.
  3. Start crafting a post a week in advance– Begin working on a post a week before, brain storm each aspect; basis of the topic, format and style of the text and any additional content.
  4. Think about links and mentions– Include links in your post that are relevant to what you are reading; suggest additional material to look at.
  5. Set aside time to write- Figure out the best time period to start composing the blog post, with limited distractions.  Use the work that you have taken from your ideas through brainstorming and organizing them to compose your first draft.

Some additional advice Mel Carson gives in his work is to incorporate information, use screen shots as well as research related to your ideas.  He also includes links that advice you in creating successful business blogs from his fellow bloggers as well as a book written by Paul Springer and Carson himself.

Links provided by How to Write a Blog Post in Just 30 Minutes

6 Helpful Hints for Writing Sterling Business Prose

Strategic Tips for Writing Contributed Articles

8 Must-Have Ingredients of a Successful Blog Post

Pioneers of Digital (Springer’s and Carson’s book)

Some of the steps that is provided in this article about composing these written works, adhere by what I have been in working on in this blog.  It even applies to just about any essay for class or when I work on my novels.  For much of the steps I take to compose each text, I break it down to quite a few days.  In the beginning, I would start looking for research articles to incorporate into my work and annotate them.  The next day, I take another look at whatever I was reading through, while brainstorming and organizing my outline (I would also use my phone app Writer for this; see my post on this app).  If I have time on that same day, I begin to work on the rough draft and may be even finish it during that time.  Finally on the following day, I edit the paper for grammatical errors or if I want to add something.  When ever it is a paper in college, I find it best to seek a writing tutor to help in the process of editing.  For any blog post I add links to all my sources as well as pictures and video.

From what has been offered in Mel Carson’s post How to Write a Blog Post in Just 30 Minutes, has been true to the five pieces of advice as mentioned earlier.  Even if you are not into business or have no plans to aspire to be part of it, the information provided assists any blogger to create a successful page.  The methods as mentioned in this post are similar to what I have done as a writer myself.  If you want to spread your ideas through any means on the internet or just want suggestions in writing, this article is recommended.

tags: EntrepreneurHow to Write a Blog Post in Just 30 MinutesMel CarsonPaul Springer6 Helpful Hints for Writing Sterling Business ProseStrategic Tips for Writing Contributed Articles8 Must-Have Ingredients of a Successful Blog PostPioneers of DigitalWriter“Writer” and it Significance to Evolving Technologies 

“Writer” and its significance to evolving technologies

Recently, I posted this app on my Twitter account

One writing application that I have found on the Google Play store is called Writer, which can be installed on your smart phone or tablet.  Compatible for any android device, it can be very useful for taking notes on any writing assignment. It is recommended for any aspiring writer working on an essay or student composing ideas for an essay.  On the other hand this software along with many others is a sign for the future of writing.  Certain aspects of this recent technology reflect those of the concepts of remediation and the ethics of delivery.  Thus indicating that it is more than just a simple writing app for you phone, it is part of the evolution of writing itself.

Writer was developed by James McMinn, a Ph.D computer software student, who attends the University of Glasgow in Scotland.  Since the program was uploaded into the Google Play Store in 2012 it has been downloaded around five million times.  It has been well received by its users and has been quite useful to writers of a new generation.

Google play
The app as seen in the Google Play store

This application includes features that the android carrier can use when he or she is not near a computer or even a pen and paper.  It can carry multiple notes at one time and it organizes them based on the title of the subject and its last modification.  In its organization it keeps count of how many articles have been composed, how many characters per document and even how long each one takes to read.  When it comes to formatting it has similar features of typical word processors such as Microsoft Word.  It provides headers, fonts such as italics, bold, underlines and it can even create lists.  Writer has been so useful that even I used it a bit to take quick notes on the review for it.  With such advancements, the future of portable writing is as bright as that of a LCD screen.

The evolution of writing applications from the computer to the phone, such as that of Writer, adheres by the concept of remediation.  Remediation is the transition from older technologies to newer ones by borrowing and reorganizing the writing characteristics of the previous technology and reforming its cultural space.  This concept is explained in Chapter 2 of Jay Bolter’s book Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of PrintThe changing from the computer to the smart phone is similar to that of the evolution of printed writing into electronic work first done on the PC.  In the beginning composing documents on the computer was one of the more traumatic remediations in the history of writing, much similar to it being done on a smart phone.  The computer gave writers the ability to share their work on the internet and readers the ability to access them with such convenience in their own home.  The ability to format and edit the text without writing multiple copies to get the best results made digital word processors special at the beginning.  The smart phone and tablet made reliability more accessible and widespread by giving the users the ability to read, write or even download the articles when they currently have no access to other devices.  Just like any other new form of technology, you can’t have it without old ones.  After every other technological advancement the innovator tries to convince the user that the new is better than the old.  McMinn is no different from any one of them as the description of his product puts an emphasis on how it will remove the “fuss and distraction of a traditional word processor”.  He even uses an old phrase, “Writer’s Philosophy is to keep simple”, as an analogy to his innovation.

Writer features
Screen shot of Writer via Android Phone
Microsoft word
Screen shot of Microsoft Word 2003 (notice the difference between that and Writer)

James McMinn’s program Writer is somewhat related to “cyberlibertarian” ideas as mentioned in the article, Why Napster matters to writing: Filesharing as a new ethic of digital delivery.  As mentioned in the title this article refers to how Napster changed file sharing as well as the ethics behind it and its importance to the movement in preserving the web as a “free net” for the people.  These “Cyberlibertarians” as the author calls them are those that are advocating this movement. Napster in its early days during the turn of the millennium was created by a college student named Shawn Fanning with the intention to share his service as a free domain.  McMinn’s app Writer does bare some similarities to the music sharing site Napster (now merged with Rhapsody) in terms of using itself for the public domain.  This program in particular is a word processing software that is given for free for your phone as a means of convenient note sharing, without paying a dollar.  Another part of the article talks about the how the cyberlibertarian notion relates to current ideas of general writing to inspire new ones.  As mentioned earlier without previous ideas no one can create new ones.  In the case of Writer, James McMinn took ideas from previous word processing software such as Microsoft Word and redeveloped it for a more portable device.

In conclusion, James McMinn’s application Writer is more than just a simple writing app, it is part of the evolution of writing itself.  Its features are more user friendly than previous writing technologies, however these past innovations serve as an influence to the new.  With the changing of time, the use of these new innovations become obsolete and new must build upon the old.  Based on this logic it is only a matter of time before someone takes McMinn’s program and seeks to improve it.

Google PlayWriterJames McMinnMicrosoft WordRhapsodyWhy Napster matters to writing: Filesharing as a new ethic of digital deliveryWriting Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print

Teens and Internet Security

I took some influence in writing this blog post through this article I posted on twitter

teens twitter

Internet Privacy has been a major concern on the web, since it expanded into a world wide phenomenon 20 years ago.  However, in today’s world that has made the users of the internet particularly concerned about being tracked no matter where they are.  It has been known that corporations have been using the internet to track its consumers.  Most recently it has been discovered that even the government has been tracking us as well, even using the data provided by companies.

In one article I’ve read The Truth about Teenagers, the Internet and Privacy talks about how these concerns and how they impact teens today.  While teens are fully aware of their desire for privacy they don’t seem to be doing enough to fix that problem.  Based on a poll by USC’s Annenberg Center for the Digital future it was reported that 78% of people born at the beginning of the millennium wanted privacy as opposed to 59% from older generations.  However, this may not be what it seems from one Professor at the University of Toronto, Ian Miller.  Miller states that the privacy they desire is from their parents not the government, “Instead of being played off against the government or a corporation, it’s being played off against their parents”. Meaning that they may not fully understand fully understand what privacy on the internet really means. In the same USC poll it was reported that 56% of millennials were willing to give away their location to corporations to receive deals on their products.  This as opposed to the older generations who at 42% allow this.  Through reading this article, I’ve come up with a few issues that teens should consider when using the internet.

They brand themselves too much with companies– Teens connect themselves to with a certain companies to receive deals on their products (ex: electronics, clothes, accessories), but don’t understand the repercussions of constantly disclosing their information to them.  You go on the internet and you notice ad on a completely different page, what you were looking at before. While this amount of tracking by these companies is annoying it is insignificant to a bigger problem.

They don’t fully understand that the government uses the internet to track you- As said before there is a concern that teens may not know what privacy really means.  Although this may not matter for teens now, but think about it, would you want the government to be tracking almost every aspect of your life on the web for years to come?

While all of this seems to be a nightmare scenario there is a solution.

Solutions

There are ways to keep government and corporations from tracking you including adolescents.  To keep corporations from tracking you can do the following: a look at this article, Five ways to avoid being tracked on the Web and take a look at these software options for you Internet Browser provided by http://fixtracking.com/

Fix this
This website provides many options for whatever web browser you use.

Fix this provides anti-tracking software for these following browsers.

-Chrome  chrome

-Firefox  firefox-logo

-Internet Explorer  internet explorer

-Safari  20140721191753!Apple_Safari

-Opera  opera_logo_580-100027895-large

There are also sites designed to help the users of the internet prevent the government from tracking you.  One domain that has such software is Reset the Net that was created in light of the accusations that the US government (particularly the NSA) has been using the internet to track it’s citizens.

Reset the net

My Personal Opinion- My personal belief is that if you intend to use the internet you it for your own means and for your own benefit.  When looking for deals on products provided by companies on the internet do it only in moderation. It is best to use anti-tracking software to avoid being watched on by the companies or worse the government.  If more people include teens follow this advice than they will feel more confident using the net.

Passwords: Creating them and storing them

I took influence on this through an article I posted on my twitter

passwords twitter

When it comes to internet security, passwords can be an issue when it comes to creating the most secure and reliable one for yourself. However, even with them hackers can still access your account based on your passwords strength. It can even be a problem when you forget your password, because you don’t have it written down somewhere. After reading two articles: Why You Should Use a Password Manager and How to Create a Strong Password (and Remember it), I have learned some tips on passwords and you can use them as well.

The main focus on How to Create a Strong Password (and Remember it) is on creating a suitable password for you in web accounts.  The article Why You Should Use a Password Manager talks about where on the internet you can store the passwords you typically forget in a secure website.

The following comes from How to Create a Strong Password (and Remember it)

Length (12-14 words)
When creating a password it is important to make it long and complex enough to avoid it from being hacked. It is most advised to have one at the minimum of 12-14 characters. If you want to make it even more secure it is best, but not recommended, that you have it as long as possible as long AS LONG AS YOU CAN REMEMBER!!!

Types of Characters
To make it harder to crack, using different kinds of characters as opposed using one kind (ex: using all lowercase) makes it even more complex. For this you should use a mix of both capital/lower case letters, symbols, and numbers.

Avoid using Commonly used Dictionary Words

If you are using commonly used words from the dictionary in your passwords DON’T DO THAT!!! Don’t refer to words such as colors (red, green, blue) or common every day objects such (hammer or spatula), they will give your password away just like that.

Don’t use obvious replacements to letters in words
If you plan on changing the letters in any of the words in your password to simple replacements (ex: instead of “James” you use J@mes) then FORGET ABOUT IT!!!! It just makes it easier for the hackers to go into your account.

Mix up the words
One you use all this advise, try to mix up your passwords in a long, complex form that hackers won’t be able to encrypt and one that you can remember.
It can be something such as this

Ok, may be not like Commander Data, but it can be something that only you can remember. If you can’t figure out a way to create such a complex password try The Diceware Passphrase Home Page. This helps you select each word for you password for rolling a dice. When rolling a dice 5 times you get a word such as “Claw” (16656) or “tuba” (62131).

Avoid using the same password over and over again
When creating a password for any account on the internet try to make a completely different one. By using the same one over and over again for each username, you will increase the chances of hackers getting into it. It is also best to have them stored somewhere and one of the best possible place to have it on is a password manger on the web.

The Following comes from Why You Should Use a Password Manager

Using a Password Manager
When having a number of passwords it is important to have them written down somewhere in case you forget it. However, these can be lost somewhere in your house or when you are away for others to find them. An alternative would be to store them digitally on your computer on a reliable website where you can access it and yes YOU NEED A PASSWORD FOR THAT AS WELL!!! When going on a page in which the password is stored on the manager, it automatically fills in the phrase. Of course you have to long into the manager itself first. A couple examples of these password mangers include:

LastPass– Cloud based software that you can access through you Computer or mobile device that fills in your password automatically on sites.


KeePass– Like Last Pass it functions on a cloud, but it has its own desktop functions as well.

Web Browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox and internet explorer have password managers, but these aren’t ideal due to their lack of security. These browsers lack an encryption code to prevent it from being hacked.

For me I write all my passwords for all the sites I have an account on and store them somewhere safe in my house, where it is all the time. But some passwords are kept on a password manager as well.