Computer Safety

In my sixth form, the computers showed you the name of the last person who had been using them. Often the previous user was somebody I didn’t know, but occasionally I’d have a small moment of happiness when I saw that one of my close friends had been using it. One day in 2010, I had one of these moments when I saw that my friend Sarah Kryworuczka was the last person to use the computer I’d just sat down on.
    For a bit of fun, I thought I’d try and guess her password. First I tried ‘password’ and, of course, that was not her password. My second guess, however, was actually correct and I found myself logging into Sarah’s account. Of course, I can’t tell you what my second guess was, because I suppose it’s not impossible that she still uses it on something!
    Once I was logged in, I opened up Microsoft Word and started writing.

“Dear Sarah,

I just want to point out that it is important to use a password which is hard for other people to guess. It is not wise to use a password that is quite obviously linked to you; your favourite film, musician, the name of loved ones, etc. A good password can be made by simply picking a random, unexpected word, or adding in numbers or using capital letters. I hope that in future, you’ll use a password that a little harder to guess than your current. Sorry to hack your account, but hopefully my hacking it now will stop criminals hacking it in future.

A concerned friend”

After writing it, I obviously signed out, went onto my own account and got on with some work. Shortly after, I saw her come into the room. I couldn’t help but watch her, to see her reaction to my document. Sadly, I wasn’t quite subtle enough and she figured out it was me. Still, I think the lesson was learned!

(Don’t miss today’s Finger Puppet Show!)

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