Monday, April 14, 2008


No, I'm not asking you to donate to my PayPal account (but if you feel that's a worthwhile thing to do, let me know and I'll give you whatever details you need to contribute!). Anyway, a reader recently commented that she'd closed her PayPal account due to (potential?) hackers. Well, I wanted to let you all know that PayPal now has a new security option: the "secure token device." What's that you ask? Well, even if you didn't ask, I'll tell you. It's a little thing with an LCD screen and a button. When you press the button, it puts numbers on the LCD screen, six of them, I think. When you sign into your PayPal account, you enter your user name, your password, and the six numbers on your secure key LCD screen. These numbers change about every 30 seconds (but don't worry: you typically will have a 1-2 minute window in which you can use a code). How does this help secure your account? A hacker will not only have to get your user name and password right, he'll have to get the 6-digit code right as well, and he'll have a very short period of time before the code changes. Thus "brute force" attacks, where they try various combinations in sequence, will be even harder to encode. We had some of these for our VPN ("Virtual Private Network") at work for a while, although they've switched to software tokens now.

On another note, thanks to Dean (and to Jan Owen who pointed this out to him) who recently mentioned a great little blog: "Stuff Christians Like." As a warning, some of this may be a little over the top depending on your normal reading preferences, but in general it's really, really amusing, and yet a good, hard look at "modern Christians." Convicting in a good way at times. And typically not too long on each post (unlike this blog, which seems to be long and unfocused at times). Enjoy! (But, please, think about coming back here to read this blog every now and then, too, once you've finished catching up on "Stuff Christians Like" - thanks!)

1 comment:

Christy said...

It's OK to name names. I'm the reader who said that about paypal. I'll tell Dwight what you just mentioned, though. It's his call. I, too, enjoyed the "Stuff Christians Like" blog, but don't worry, I won't quit making my daily stop to your blog. It's a habit now.