Sunday, January 04, 2009

Technology Information you should have in the New Year

Linksys Router Setup PageIf you want to make your computing life a little easier in 2009, there are several pieces of information that you should have at hand. Start the New Year right and collect this information before you need it.

The least you should know:

  • Name of Internet Service Provider
    • Here in Los Angeles this might be Time-Warner Cable AT&T, Verizon, Earthlink or a few others

  • ISP Telephone Support Number
  • Router information
    • Router Address
      • Typically this is 192.168.1.1 or 10.0.0.x

    • Router User ID
      • This is often a default name which is the same for each manufacturers equipment i.e Linksys, Netgear. etc and is often printed on the router

    • Router Password
      • This is often a default password. This should be changed when the router is installed to protect yourself against certain attacks that try to use the default password to break into the router.

  • Wireless Network Password
    • You should be using WPA Security on your wireless router, if available. If your wireless network password is something like 0AD1665211, then your router is using the older WEP security which is easily broken by a variety of hacking tools.

  • Computer Information
    • Computer Username
      • Both Windows and Macintosh computers have computer passwords which are required to login or install software. Losing these passwords can mean a large hassle, so note them in a secure place somewhere

    • Computer Password

  • Email Information
    • Email Address
    • Email Password
      • Since email passwords are usually stored on your computer we can easily forget them. Of course, if something happens to our computer, or we get a new one, it can really cause problems if you don't have them noted somewhere.


So, how do you store this information securely, while still being able to easily access it. Rather than right it down on sticky notes or scraps of paper I use a password protected MS Word or MS Excel file and choose a fairly secure, but easily remembered password for that file.

You can also use a program like 1Password which acts a a Password "vault".

Do you have questions about this information and how to find it? Leave a comment using the comment link below and I will be happy to answer them.

1 comment:

Groby said...

Good info, except for the 'Word or Excel file' part. If I recall correctly, breaking password protection on those files is almost trivially easy.

Instead, put it on a piece of paper and lock it up somewhere. That way, even if your computer gets hacked, not all of your info is readily available in a single file.