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
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.
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
- 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,
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
- Use a combination of upper and lower
- 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.
Preview 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
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.
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.
President, Space Control Systems
206 Providence Mine Road, Suite 118
Nevada City, CA 95959