About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

February 6, 2018

Chrome Password Manager

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:00 am

I have stated before that my browser of choice is Google Chrome.  In my opinion it is “currently” the better browser of the main ones.  At the end of 2017, W3Counter states that the top browsers used are Chrome, (59%) Safari, (15%) Firefox, (9%) Internet Explorer/Edge (8%) and Opera (4%).  Notice the significant gap between the top two contenders.

They all have an account password manager of some sort.  These managers are used to keep track of your user account names and their corresponding passwords for websites.  This information is required to log in when you visit those sites.  They work in different ways and today I will tell you how to set up and use the one in Chrome.  If you favor one of the others, Google for information regarding the specific password manager.  Basically, you visit a site after the browser has saved your username and password for that site and it will prefill it making it much quicker to get into the site.

It is quite easy to cut them on and off in Chrome.  Some people do not want their browser to keep track of their passwords.  It could be a problem if they left their computer unattended.  Then others could easily access their accounts with the usernames and passwords already filled-in.

First, check and see how Chrome is set for you.  Click the three dots (ellipsis) in the upper right-hand corner of the browser.  Look toward the bottom of the list and click “Settings.”  At the top of the Settings window in the “Search settings” box, enter “passwords.”  There are several areas here which you can examine; however, be careful about changing anything unless you first understand what you are changing.  (Use Google again.)

We are only going to look at one specific area this time: “Manage passwords.”  Click the words “Manage passwords” and you will be in the manager for Chrome.  Notice at the top right corner, “Search passwords.”  Here you can type in a value that you have a password for and it will find that account.

Below that is a simple On/Off selector.  Click the button on the right, gray is Off and blue is On.  Off stops Chrome from memorizing your usernames and passwords.  It is set “On” by default, so if you never realized it they have all been recorded up to this point.

After that you can allow it to auto sign-in which allows the usernames and passwords for sites to be prefilled for you.

Now for the good stuff.  We will say you forgot your Amazon account password.  Type “” into the search passwords box at the top right.  It will find you Amazon account login info.  From left to right it gives you five items.  First, website name, then username, password (hidden by asterisks) an eye icon and an ellipsis.  The last one, the ellipsis (three vertical dots) does not do much when clicked other than give you the choice to delete the specific account info.

The eye is the important one.  Click it.  If you use a username and password to set up your computer you will have to enter that password to see the password, sans asterisks.  If the correct computer password is not entered the site password will not be revealed.  If you do not have a computer login password anyone on your computer can see your passwords.

Delete or check them as you wish since you now know the secrets.

You can see mine below, hopefully blurred enough to keep you out of my super-secret info. (Yawn…)

Google Chrome password manager

Ron’s view of Google Chrome password manager

July 20, 2015

2015-07-20 Show Notes

Welcome to the July radio show/podcast!  We had many callers with issues and some answers from me.  You can download or listen to the podcast here

Here are just a couple of the things we talked about today.

Tech News
Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children

Kids working?

Excessive use of computer games among young people in China appears to be taking an alarming turn and may have particular relevance for American parents whose children spend many hours a day focused on electronic screens.

While Internet addiction is not yet considered a clinical diagnosis here, there’s no question that American youths are plugged in and tuned out of “live” action for many more hours of the day than experts consider healthy for normal development. And it starts early, often with preverbal toddlers handed their parents’ cellphones and tablets to entertain themselves when they should be observing the world around them and interacting with their caregivers.

  • In 2010, “The average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly eight hours a day with a variety of different media, and older children and teenagers spend more than 11 hours per day.”
  • Before age 2, children should not be exposed to any electronic media, the pediatrics academy maintains, because “a child’s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.”
  • Older children and teenagers should spend no more than one or two hours a day with entertainment media, preferably with high-quality content, and spend more free time playing outdoors, reading, doing hobbies and “using their imaginations in free play.
  • Teenagers who spend a lot of time playing violent video games or watching violent shows on television have been found to be more aggressive and more likely to fight with their peers and argue with their teachers. 

A Guide to the Windows 10 Start Menu
The world is all aflutter about Windows 10 so here is a good intro to the new and improved Start Menu.

Since the release of Windows 95, the Start Menu has been the primary way for users to access their files and applications. Microsoft attempted to move away from this setup with Windows 8, creating a serious backlash. Now the Start Menu is back and better than ever for Windows 10.

However, there have been a few changes since the last time we saw the Start Menu. There’s more functionality and customization options packed in than ever before, but the best way to take advantage of it might not be immediately obvious. Use this guide to get a firm grasp of the basics, and you’ll soon be using the Start Menu like a true Windows 10 expert.

OK, those are the only news stories and Windows 10 info we had a chance to talk about today. Listen to the podcast for the details and what else went on today.

I hope to see you back next month on August 17th.


July 27, 2010

Secure P@55w0rdz

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , — Ron @ 4:38 am

I received many questions after last week’s column about being hacked regarding passwords.  Some were about how to create good passwords and others like, “How do I remember my 194 accounts’ passwords?”

First, when creating passwords avoid the obvious.  Currently some of the top passwords in use in the US are qwerty, asdfgh, 12345678, your first, middle, or last names, names of pets, kids, parents, or significant other, birth dates, months, year of birth, street name and/or number, your car’s license plate, a difficult word from the dictionary, like ambrosia and the most obvious, “password”.  Are you using any of those?

Always use a combination of letters, numbers, upper-case and lower-case, and make sure the letters don’t spell anything … even backwards.  Something like “rQ7tXc5#T” would be good, but remember — you have to remember it.

Always use at least eight-characters in a password.  The odds of breaking one with eight characters are one chance in 2,821,109,907,456.  Hackers have tools which can hack any six-character password in less than 15 minutes, so always shoot for eight which could take years to unravel.   The first thing that it will do is run through every word in the dictionary, which only takes the first couple of minutes.  These apps also run the words backwards. That is the reasoning behind NOT using any word from a dictionary.

Make a cryptic password from a song, slogan, or quote with a date.  Use a slogan like, “Don’t leave home without it”.  Take the first letter from each word and blend in your year of birth.  You come up with something like “D1l9h6w8i!” and you have a fairly easy to remember but “un-interpretable” password.  Notice the use of different cases, numbers and symbols.  Also, notice the title to this column.  Use various symbols for letters.  You can use “@” for “a”, “3” for “e”, the lower case “L” for the number one, etc.  Be creative, you are the only one who has to understand your secret code!

Don’t give your password to anyone!  If you check with your work IT or HR department you will find that many corporations have an immediate dismissal policy for sharing.

Last, but by no means least, watch out for people who are exceptionally skilled in reading keyboards…upside-down.  I have a coworker who has a doctorate in upside-down keyboard translation.

Now I will explain my amazing ability for remembering many, many usernames and passwords.  KeePass is a handy free program that will hold all of your usernames and passwords and protect them all with one password.  Just make sure if you use KeePass or one of the many other Password Storage apps that you use a super-duper password to secure that application.  I prefer KeePass since I have a Blackberry phone and the program has a Blackberry app that hooks the computer and phone together.  That way I have my usernames and passwords with me all the time.

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