Space Control Newsletter

Issue # 14

Winter 2012

In This Issue

How Secure Are Your Passwords?

Preview to a Revolution in Management Software

Quick Links


Much of our online security depends on how secure our passwords are and how often we change them.  We've put together some suggestions in article one about how to create a secure password and some advice about what NOT to use as your password.


Article two talks about our new Insight software.   We started from scratch a couple of years ago, hired the best developers, and used technology designed specifically for the web.  Insight is the first pro-active management software for our industry.  And once you see a web program built with true Cloud technology, you'll appreciate the difference.

Man-KeyholeHow Secure Are Your Passwords?


It seems as if every week or so we see stories about identity theft, hacking and other security breaches. We all know that we should use secure passwords and change them often. But that gets harder and harder to do as we use and rely on more devices that require passwords. How do you keep track of which User ID and password goes with which application?


What NOT to do.  A good password is hard to guess but easy to remember. But making it easy to remember can create passwords that are way too easy to guess. Do Not use as your password:

  • The default password that was assigned by the program.  Change it immediately.
  • Personal information:  Names, birthdays, license plate numbers, name of your favorite band, album, car, book, song, or comic book character.
  • Something that is so common you think no one will guess it:  Secret, querty (or any other keyboard sequence), password.  It's surprising how many people use password as their password!
  • Double words (johnjohn), reversed words (wordpass, nhojnhoj), nonsense words (foobar, wassup, biteme).

A Good Password.  So, how do you create a secure password?  Some suggestions:

  • Add a number---or two.  Adding one number to your password means there are 20 variations for a hacker to try.  Adding two numbers makes 200 variations.
  • Use a combination of upper and lower case.
  • Add some special characters.  #, $, %.
  • The longer it is, the harder it is to guess.  Consumers Report says that a good 7-character password would take about 2.5 hours to crack, 8-characters would take 10 days, 9-characters would take about 2.5 years. 

Now you have to change it.  We also are advised to use a different password for each application and change our passwords often.  The theory is, if a hacker has a computer program checking your password against possible variations and you change the password, it might be one that has already been checked and the program won't come back to it again.  


There's an app for that.  If all of this sounds like too much trouble, you may want to try an application for managing your passwords. These apps encrypt and store your passwords and then insert them when needed. Of course you must create a master password but this would allow you to only have one password to remember. PCWorld recommends LastPass for your desktop computer. And, there's a free version. Password Safe is another app for password storage, also for the desktop computer. RoboForm has versions for all operating systems including Android and iPhone. Its price starts at $9.95 and goes up to about $30.00.  




globePreview to a Revolution in Management Software

If you think we've been relatively quiet lately, it's because we've been developing an entirely new management package.  Insight is web-based and is Pro-Active, an industry first.  Now, cloud computing applies to self-storage management.


This is different. Our approach to delivering data to you is vastly different from what's out there now.  You'll instantly see which stores are under-performing, in what areas...and what to do about it. A brilliant graphic display tells you what you need to know - at that very moment, in real time. 


Insight highlights Deviations from the Norm: Is economic occupancy lower than expected?   Is somebody not keeping up with collections?  Are your rental or income goals not being met?  Do you have potential employee theft?  You will know at a glance where to turn your attention. 


Compare to the norm. This data is formula-driven: Since 1984, we've tracked the parameters that tell you when indices are out of line.  Now, we use these parameters to help you track your business performance. Even store-to-store comparisons are a click away.  And, our popular Management Summary shows up on your smart phone. You don't ever have to be out of touch.


Don't Fear the Cloud.  Your data is perfectly safe, with triple backups at multiple locations, protected even from natural disasters.  Each of your locations has its own database; you have your own unique login; and you can even do your own backup anytime you want.


Trust but Verify.  We've always had the best theft protection and audit trails, but we've taken these even further with automatic customer audits. A one-page comparison of all your sites makes it easier to spot anomalies at one location. Insight makes your investment even more secure.


We went to the best. This project was headed by a Microsoft MVP developer who "wrote the (actual) book" on software development. Insight was built using Silverlight, a programming language specifically for web applications.   And for the best performance and highest security, we chose the robust SQL Server for data management.    


What we didn't do.  We didn't simply plunk our existing site software on the internet.  This approach and this Pro-Active package are both revolutionary in the storage industry. Harness the full power of the web with Insight.



Ramona Taylor
President, Space Control Systems

206 Providence Mine Road, Suite 118

Nevada City, CA 95959