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Polly wants our advice on how to be safe "in the cloud"
Until I read about the "cloud" in your newsletters I had never heard that term. Now I'm hearing everywhere. What do you suggest we do to stay safe in the cloud? I love your newsletters. Many times I will read something in them and then months later, start hearing about it everywhere else. You guys are the greatest! Polly V.

Our Answer
The Cloud is here to stay. At first it seemed like it might be a passing fad, but Adobe, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and many others are embracing it. There's even going to be a Microsoft Office in the cloud soon. Unfortunately, sometimes the cart gets before the horse and things happen. Microsoft's ill-advised decision not include a personal, secure email program in Windows 7, partially negates our enthusiasm for a great new version of Windows. While we're using Windows 7 now, we won't be using Windows Live Mail.

So, what can you do to stay safe in the cloud? Other than doing the things we always tell you to do - keep your antivirus and antispyware programs updated. Install a good safe surfing toolbar like WOT, and above all use common sense, there are a couple of other things you should do when it comes to staying safe in the cloud.

1. Revise ALL  of your passwords. Never use the same password for everything. Each site you log into should have a different password. Don't write your passwords down on paper and keep that paper lying near the computer.

The time has come where using the same password for everything can and will get you into trouble. Get a password manager like Roboform and use its password generator to generate strong passwords. Roboform generates the passwords, stores them in encrypted form and remembers then when you need them. You just can't use one password for everything anymore - if you do, you're going to be sorry at some point in time.

2. Don't store email messages or documents containing sensitive information in the cloud. If something happens and your account is breached all your sensitive information will be available to the criminal who breached your account.

The age of the cloud is here and we're all going to have to learn to think even more when we are on the Web. Microsoft's Windows Live Mail is just one example of an accident waiting to happen. Wait! Are we prescient? It's already happened. Have you read where tens of thousands of Hotmail and Live.com passwords were stolen and published for all to see on a Web site? It's true. So you see we were right again. Just imagine how many more Live.com and Hotmail users there will be when Windows 7 forces its users to use Windows Live Mail for everyday emailing. Are we fortune tellers? No. We just know when you make an irresistible target for thieves - some of them are going to break in.

If you can help us today, please do. Thanks to all of you.


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