Archive for the ‘ How To ’ Category

Is My Password Strong Enough? (Infographic)

Have you ever asked yourself that question before?  Is my password strong enough?

Have you noticed how much tougher it is getting when it comes to choosing passwords?  Back in the day, all you had to remember was a basic 3-4 digit code.  The lock on your bike had three numbers.  The lock on your locker…three numbers.  Your ATM pin code…four numbers.  It was simple back then.  Now, some site require lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and even symbols!  We are being forced to choose stronger passwords to make sure our information is safe.

So… are you having a hard time remembering them yet?  If so, I have a solution.  Stop trying to remember three, four, or five different passwords (and which ones are used on which sites), and instead develop one system for remembering countless passwords.  Let me share with you what I learned from this article at

Remember 100 different passwords with 1 rule set.

You don’t need to remember 100 passwords if you have 1 rule set for generating them. One way to generate unique passwords is to choose a base password and then apply a rule that mashes in some form of the service name with it. For example, you may use your base password with the first two consonants and the first two vowels of the service name. Say your base password is “asdf.” (See how easy those keys are to type?). Then your password for Yahoo would be ASDFYHAO, and your password for eBay would be ASDFBYEA.

Something simpler – but along the same lines – might involve the same letters to start (say, your initials and a favorite number) plus the first 3 letters of a service name. In that case, my password for Amazon would be GMLT10AMA and for GMLT10LIF. (Include obscure middle initials – like your mother’s maiden name or a childhood nickname – that not many people know about for extra security.)

Before you decide on your single password generation rule, keep in mind that while password requirements are different for each service in terms of length and characters allowed and required, a good guideline is a password at least 8 characters long that includes both letters and numbers. To make a password even more secure – or applicable for services that require special characters – add them around it, like #GMLT10LIF#.

Good good idea, huh?  Now, go start implementing it in your life.  It’ll really simplify things.

And, just in case you aren’t convinced of the weakness of your current password scheme, check out this infographic about passwords generated by ZoneAlarm. (Click the infographic to see a larger version)

Password Strength Infographic

Now, go protect yourself.

(Via ChurchCrunch, Lifehacker, & ZoneAlarm)

So Much Email. So Little Time.

Laptop Dispensing EmailAre you faced with an almost insurmountable stack of email everyday?  Well, I think I’ve found a helpful system for managing email in a post by Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

To be honest, this is exactly what I need(ed).  Let me give you a run down of my email scenario.  Every day, I actively check six email accounts.  Some are my personal accounts.  Some belong to the church.  In the course of a day, I easily take in 50 to 100 messages or so.  At this very moment, I have three email accounts with very extremely full inboxes.  One has 108 emails, another has 354, and another has 614!!!  Why do I let these pile up!  And, all that doesn’t even mention my intricate file folders system… between the six email accounts, I have 75 folders!  So, I’m definitely putting some of these principles into practice… starting today!

Here’s a summary of what Michael Hyatt says (Click here to read his full post):

1. Empty your inbox everyday.

2. Don’t get bogged down, keep moving. 5 possible actions for every email:

  • Do it now – If you can do it in 2 minutes or less.
  • Defer it – Schedule a time to do it (b/c it’ll take more than 2 minutes).
  • Delegate it – If it would be better for someone else to do it.
  • Delete it – If it’s not important or actionable.
  • File it – In one folder. If you need it, you can search for it later.

3. Use keyboard shortcuts and avoid the mouse.

4. Use email rules to filter low-priority stuff (like Bacn)

That’s just the outline skeleton of what Michael says.  Check out his post for the more meaty explanation.

Now, what are you waiting for?! Go forth and conquer your inbox!

Did you need to hear this today?
Are you swimming in a deep inbox?

And, what other tips could you give that might be helpful?

Click comment below to give us your thoughts.

Spam covering a woman at her computer.

Learning to Study Your Bible: 3 Step Process

Enlightening BibleDo you want to get more out of your personal bible study time?  Have you ever wondered how it is that some Christians, pastors, or bible study leaders seem to be able to identify so much more truth in God’s word?  Well, there’s a three step process that can put you on a path to understanding and applying God’s word to your life.  This will help you to be a doer of the word and not a hearer only (James 1:22).

Here are the three steps of inductive Bible study:

1). Observation: What does it say?
This first step is a simple one.  Read the text carefully a time or two in a Bible version that you can understand.  (There are many great versions and translations available.  The one that I use personally and recommend is the NET Bible.  If you want to know why I like this one best, ask me some time.)  As you read, look for the following things:

  1. Are there any commands?
  2. Are there any promises?
  3. Are there any repeated words or phrases?
  4. Are there any results or conclusions (look for therefore or so that)?
  5. What is the main idea of the passage?

2). Interpretation: What does it mean?
This can be a challenging step, and it’s the one that people sometimes fail to carry out correctly.  To perform this step, you may need to seek out a few Bible study tools (commentary, concordance, etc.).   But, don’t get too intimidated at this step.  Simply, consider the following questions:

  1. Are there any terms, words, or phrases that need to be defined?
  2. How does the passage fit into the broader context of the chapter & book?
  3. What was the author of this book trying to say?
  4. What did the audience understand the author to have been saying?

3). Application: What does it mean to me?
Now, it is time to apply the timeless truth of the passage to life.  Though all of the Bible may not be written directly to us, it is certainly written for us.   And, we must ask a few questions to learn how this passage should change our lives:

  1. What attitude does this passage instruct me to have?
  2. What action does this passage instruct me to take?
  3. What does this passage instruct me to believe?
  4. What does this passage instruct me to avoid?

At this step of application, also look for the How and the Why.  In addition to telling us what to do, believe, and avoid, the Bible also frequently tells us how and why to apply the truth of the passage.  So, look for that.

Certainly, this is not an exhaustive guide, but it should be a great start to helping you learn more from your Bible study time.  So, try taking these steps sometime this week, and let me know how it goes.  And of course, feel free to ask me any questions that arise from your personal study of the Bible.

Subscribe to My Blog: A How-To Guide

RSS LogoSo, it dawned on me this week that many people are just now beginning to understand what blogging is all about.  Sure, we know that a blog is an online journal of sorts, and it’s an extension of the social media frenzy.  But, many of us are just now beginning to understand the extra features that are out there.

For example, have you ever wondered what that strange, little, orange icon with waves is all about?  (It’s this icon right here ↑ )  This little icon and others like it can be found all across the web, but what is it there for?

That little icon says, “Hey! Subscribe here!  We’ll send you the blog posts from this site for free.”  It shows that an RSS Feed is available from the site.  That’s why I’ve got one in the upper right hand corner of this web page.

Okay, so now you know what it’s there for, but how does it work?

Watch this video to learn more about RSS Feeds & the little orange icon.
(And if you prefer you can subscribe by email, click subscribe to do that, too!)

Welcome to another dimension of the blogosphere!
Let me know if this little video was helpful to you.