Forbes and Atwood on Password Security [re: the Gawker Incident]

Forbes and Atwood on Password Security

The recent hack of Gawker Media sites has compromised over a million passwords. Although I had not commented on Lifehacker in a long time, my password and email (from the one or two times when I did comment) were among those hacked.

I’ve spent the better part of the day changing my passwords at numerous sites and closing out accounts on sites I no longer visit.

You may very well be doing the same, and, if not, it is something you do not want to put off too long. Even if your account wasn’t hacked, this incident may make you want to consider changing your passwords. Just ask yourself “do I really feel safe with my current passwords? are they strong enough? have I used them too long without changing them?”

Two really good accounts of The Gawker Incident are at Forbes and Coding Horror.

As long time readers of Keener Living may recall, I initially required commenters set up an account before they could comment.

This required you to leave your email account and setup a password.

While WordPress uses an MD5 hash on passwords, and is considered secure by today’s standards, you may be nervous enough about passwords that you want me to delete yours. I would be happy to do so. Just email me at

There are only a handful of users who have accounts, because I changed to open commenting shortly after setting the blog up. (I figured that if big sites like TechCrunch could tolerate the spam headache to make it easier on users, I could, too.)

By the way, I highly recommend that you invest in a good password program to store your passwords. I use 1Password, which is available for Mac, PC, iPhone, and iPad. I also recommend that you close out accounts at sites you no longer really use. I have closed my Brizzly, Friendfeed, Remember The Milk, and several other accounts and plan to close a few more.

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