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Create a secure password!

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Ok so while the password I have created below and in the video might be a LITTLE too long or complex, it’s the basic concept of utilizing Phrases, Upper/Lower Case letters, numbers, and symbols.  Have fun with it!

Password Creation

  1. One good technique is to take a phrase or quote that you like and use the first syllable of each word. 

Early Bird Gets The Worm – EBGTW


  1. Don’t forget to include lower case/upper case letters



  1. Now add numbers to the beginning, middle, and/or end



  1. Last, change a letter (or two!) to a symbol



And the new password created is



It’s a very simple process to creating an incredibly complex password.  Just be creative and remember the golden rules and what to avoid.  


Excel 2007 Dropdown Boxes

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In this post I decided to provide a tutorial on how to add a dropdown box in Microsoft Excel 2007.  It’s incredibly easy and takes just a few seconds.  I love this feature because I go NUTS when data isn’t consistent throughout a spreadsheet, so this dropdown box allows you to limit the options someone has to enter into your spreadsheet.

1.  Open Microsoft Excel 2007

2.  Type your “Key” with the options that you would like to use for the dropdown box

3.  Highlight the area you’d like to apply the drop down box to

4.  Go to the Data tab at the top

5.  Click the Data Validation portion and pull down the options

6.  Again, hit Data Validation

7.  In the “Allow” portion, choose “List”

8.  Click in the “Source” portion then highlight your Key

9.  Hit OK and Voila!

Password Fundamentals

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Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months” – Clifford Stoll

Whether at home or in the office, creating a secure password is crucial to protecting your personal information.  By creating a secure password, you make it difficult for hackers to access your accounts without authorization.

Password Fundamentals

  1. Length – The longer the password, the harder it is for a hacker or a logarithm to “guess” what your password may be.  Strive for a minimum of 8 characters for your password.
  2. Characters – It is crucial to use special characters in your password (if the application allows it).  Several applications require a special character such as !@#$%^&*.  For example, instead of an “a” you can you a @ symbol, or instead of an “i” you can use the ! symbol.
  3. Numbers – In addition to special characters, use numeric values within your password as well.  Numbers can prevent hackers from using dictionary terms to unlock your account.
  4. Upper Case and Lower Case – Don’t forget to vary the characters that are capitals and those that are lower case – especially if the application is case sensitive.
  5. Change it – Change your password every 3-6 months.  I agree that this may be difficult and not conducive to remembering your password, however for maximum security change your password, especially for online bank accounts!


Things to Avoid

  1. Never write your password down!  This is a detrimental mistake made by a majority of individuals who have a difficult time remembering their password.  Passwords can easily be found under mouse pads, keyboards, behind picture frames, and in nearby drawers.  You wouldn’t leave the key to your home under the door mat (I would hope) so don’t write your password down in a location for others to find.
  2. Keep it private – Don’t share your password with anyone.  Period.
  3. Common names – Some common passwords to avoid are: Dictionary words, names of relatives/spouses/friends, your username, your address, your birthday, pet names, etc.


Stay tuned for my next post regarding tips on creating a super-extremely-easy-to-remember secure password!



Definition of “Salary”

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I have a friend who frequently asks me:

“Since I’m salary don’t you think I should be able to come in to work at 9am?  I think that’s fair.”

Different companies have different salary policies.  Some say you must work a minimum of 40 hours per week.  Some say you need to work as many hours to get all of your work done – whether that’s 25 hours or 55 hours.

I know that personally I must be at work by 8am because I have an obligation to my team and to the company to provide my service and knowledge should someone knocking.  So that whole “I don’t have to show up until 9am” think won’t fly in my job.

So is there a “right” definition of salary?  I’m curious to see what everyone’s salary policy is at their work place. Is showing up at 9am acceptable?

Part 3: Enable HTTPS for your Gmail!

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Ok this is the last part to my “Enable HTTPS” series!

This portion will show you how to enable HTTPS for your Gmail account!

Again – I apologize for the lack of arrows and boxes in my photos – I need Snagit for my home computer!  I’m lost without it!

1.  Log in or create your account at

2.  Click on “Options” which can be found in the top right hand corner (it’s the Gear icon)



3.  Next, scroll down to the 4th option entitled “Browser Connection”

4.  Choose “Always Use HTTPS”

Voila!  Super easy 🙂  Please let me know if you have any troubles or are confused at all and I would love to help.

Failure to Fly or Money Smart?

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I was chatting with one of my best friends this past weekend and she came up with a brilliant idea:  She decided that when she has children she is going to encourage them to move back home after college, get their first big-kid job, and SAVE money like crazy.

After crunching some numbers she realized she would have over $70,000 in the bank saved if she hadn’t bought a home (investment), new cars, etc.

I told her that if my parents made that offer there’s no way I would have taken them up on it – I’m too stubborn.  Moving out, to me, means “I’m financially independent baby!”

So now I’m curious – would moving back home after college to save all of your money be a good idea?  Or would this be detrimental to the already-entitled-Gen-Yers in the fact that they really would have everything handed to them on a plate when the generation before us was required to move out, get a job and fend for themselves?  I understand the value of saving money.  I also understand the value of making investments such as home purchases.  So I can’t quite decide if I agree with my friend or not.

Either way – had my parents made that offer to me I would have gladly declined and still moved out on my own to feel like I’m wearing my big kid pants.

Co-workers outside of work

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Have you ever run into a co-worker outside of work and you almost didn’t even RECOGNIZE the person?

I have had this happen on multiple occasions.  I have had 2 real big-kid type of jobs: one where you wear casual clothing to work, and another where you where business formal.

Business formal attire allows you to see the business-work-9-5 personality of a person.  Are they on time?  Do they work hard?  Do they produce results?  But we rarely ever see that person’s personality.  For example – I found out the other day that someone I work with has a child.  I HAD NO IDEA THIS PERSON HAD A CHILD!  It’s really not that big of a deal that she has children, however I felt like a horrible person for not knowing.

It’s easy to think we know our co-workers, but to what extent do we really know them on a personal (not professional) level?  This really becomes relevant when you run into co-workers outside of work.  You notice the clothes they wear, the way they do their hair or makeup, and the people that they’re with.  You see this person every single day and have no idea that they go to the same gym as you, or that they even go to the gym.  You don’t realize they have children or a significant other.

I’m not sure how I feel about this – I am still trying to form an opinion.  I do believe that at work we need to be professional and leave our baggage at the door.  But in order to work effectively in a team environment, shouldn’t you understand your co-workers and the things that make them most productive?  Shouldn’t we know the person working alongside us more than just, “They can draft a report in no-time-flat!”

I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion on this topic!