Passwords are past it – are certificates the key to better online security?

When the impact of the OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability became clear (along with many other recent compromises), security experts advised us to change all of our online passwords as a precaution.

Of course this is a Good Idea™, but did you actually do it or was it just another of those pieces of advice about passwords that you thought about and then chose to ignore because it seemed like a massive hassle?  Did you promise yourself that you would get around to it at some point and yet probably you never will, despite an uncomfortable nagging feeling of insecurity at the back of your head?

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My disdain for the Disastrous Disavow Decision

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Google have decided, in their ‘infinite wisdom’, that webmasters should disavow links pointing to their website from so-called “dodgy” websites.  What does this mean?  Well.. here’s a quote from the Webmaster Tools help page:
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My Personal Password Policy (PPP)

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Remembering passwords is a hassle!  We all know the things that we are supposed to do but we are all human beings (aren’t we?) and it’s almost impossible (and certainly very impractical) to set strong, unique, and memorable passwords for each and every account we have.

I’ve come up with a policy about how I deal with my passwords.  My love of TLAs means that I have decided to call it my PPP or Personal Password Policy.  I’m quite proud of it tbh (the acronym too) and I hope that you find it useful and/or interesting.

Note: I use the word “cracker” when most people are more familiar with the word “hacker” being used.   Read more about why I do this.

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Spotify vs Deezer

It seems that if you want a music streaming service, the main contenders available in the UK are Spotify and Deezer, with Spotify being the more famous of the two.  I recently came back to Spotify Premium after about half a year with a Deezer subscription.  So I feel I’m in quite a good position to give a comparison between the two services.  Why did I move from Spotify to Deezer in the first place?  Why have I come back to Spotify?

Shedding the Spots

The main reason I moved away from Spotify was because I discovered that it uses P2P (peer-to-peer) technology and that there is no option to disable this.  This means that whenever the Spotify program is open, it will happily upload lots of music data that you happen to have on your hard drive (perhaps because it’s cached or because it’s in an “available offline” playlist) to other Spotify users.

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