Dealing with passwords
Q: I have a question about an app I downloaded on my iPad and iPhone 5: Passwords Plus. You create a long master password that allows you to access the info you store in the app. The info can be anything from bank accounts and credit-card account numbers to passwords for various websites. My question is whether this app and maybe others that are similar are safe. I have so many passwords that I created an Excel spreadsheet with all of that info, and started entering the data from the spreadsheet into Passwords Plus. Then I started thinking that it may be just as vulnerable as other apps out there.
A: One important thing to remember about password storage solutions is that safety, as with all things, is relative.
Passwords Plus ($4.99-$19.99), from DataViz, is like several other password management systems on the market in that it specializes in storing and protecting your own database of passwords in the cloud. LastPass (free to $12 a year) and 1Password ($49.99 to $69.99) are two other popular options.
Cloud storage certainly makes things convenient. Making your information accessible wherever you are on whatever device means you’ll never lock yourself out of your email — as long as you can remember your master password.
But whenever you allow your data to leave your possession, there’s always a risk.
If the idea of stashing your passwords on someone else’s server — no matter how secure — makes you uncomfortable, you should also consider giving Password Safe a try. It’s free.
— Tyler Dukes, Raleigh News & Observer
Windows update problem
Q: After I loaded Windows Vista Service Pack 2 on my PC, my flash memory card readers were no longer visible in Windows Explorer, even though the PC says they’re operating correctly. I’m also getting Code 10 and Code 43 errors.
A: The Service Pack 2 update caused your problem, probably because it’s not compatible with the driver software for your flash memory cards (codes 10 and 43 often signify driver issues.) You’ve got two choices: Undo the Service Pack 2 update, or download new software drivers for your memory cards.
Undoing the software update is easy, but you’ll be giving up the enhancements it provides, which include the ability to record on Blu-ray disks, improved PC power management and the correction of some flaws in Vista. To remove the update, go to “Start,” click “All Programs,” choose “Accessories,” click on “System Tools” and click “System Restore.” Pick a calendar date before the update (note that all programs you’ve installed since the date you select will also be uninstalled).
Alternatively, you can download new software drivers for your memory cards. The easiest way to find them is to use a search engine to find the word string “manufacturer name+card model+driver.”
— Steve Alexander, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Help finding seasonal jobs
Temporary or seasonal work can provide a bridge for individuals between jobs, recent college graduates, or people interested in a new challenge. Here is a sampling of websites with information on seasonal work possibilities:
• CoolWorks.com: Search for seasonal work in 25 categories under “Find a Job” tab. Site: www.coolworks.com.
• SeasonalEmployment.com: Explore different seasonal and temporary job categories by country or state. Site: www.seasonalemployment.com.
• SeasonalJobs365: Check out jobs by activity, country or the seasonal jobs directory. Site: www.seasonaljobs365.com.
• SeasonWorkers.com: View employment opportunities by season or work-type categories. Site: www.seasonworkers.com.
• SnagAJob: Enter a city, state or ZIP code to find seasonal work openings in your area, or search by specific state and community. Site: www.snagajob.com/seasonal-jobs.
— Chuck Myers, McClatchy-Tribune