Cover by Christine Griffin

EMG-Zine Entrance
Printed Anthologies
Free Download of Volume 1!

July 2007

July 2007 - Computers



  • EMG News:
    News of July!
  • Healthy Green Artists:
    Greening Your Computer
  • Behind the Art:
    Creating a Book in InDesign
  • Myths and Symbols:
    Inhuman Double
  • Wombat Droppings:
    Digital Evolution


  • P4S5W0RD5
  • The Fairies' Harp Walkthrough
  • 1001 Wonderlands: Alternate Reality Games


  • Fiction: Game Over?
  • Fiction: Computerized Frustration
  • Fiction: Crashing
  • Fiction: My Computers


  • Movie: Men in White

    Search EMG-Zine

    EMG-Zine is no longer active, but join the mailing list for other EMG projects and updates. You can also follow us on Facebook.

    Or Support us with an anthology purchase!
  • P4S5W0RD5
    by Valerie Joanne Higgins

    Don't let the word "password" lead you into bad habits. The last thing you should use as a password is a word or a name. Fine, if you have a computer in your workroom that is never, ever connected to the Internet, or to your home network, you might just get away with password protecting a file with a "secret" name like "Gandalf" or "Polgara" but that only works if your children or partner don't know you very well. If you are exposing your computer to the Internet, or especially if you are opening any kind of account on the Internet you need to give your passwords a little more thought.

    Do not, I repeat, do not ever, use the names of your pets or children as a password. Without doing any kind of snooping I guarantee you I could sit here and tell you the names of the partners, children, dogs and cats of at five of the people reading this article. That's just from my normal social activity in taking part in forums and commenting at blogs. So if you are at all chatty on-line be especially careful not to use familiar names as passwords.

    So you think OK, I'll just choose an unusual word. Not good enough. It might work on a human being, but unfortunately it doesn't take all that long to let a computer program chunter its way through the dictionary.

    So if you can't use a real word. How do you remember and apparently random jumble of letters?

    You use a mnemonic. A mnemonic is the first letter of each word of a sentence.

    Choose a line from a poem or song, or a quote from a film and use the initial letters. If you chose the song "Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea." that would give you a password that reads "ptmdlbts", now that would be a password much harder to guess than say "wyvern" or "Gryffindor".

    If you enjoyed the film Eragon you could say "So much for our rat problem" and have a password that read "smrorp".

    Or try Alice in Wonderland, "Twas brillig and the slithy toves, did gyre and gimbal in the wabe", would give you "tbatstdgagitw".

    Make your passwords as long as you can get away with, longer sequences are harder to break.

    There are ways to get sneakier. Adding in numbers as well gives 36 possible variable for each character instead of just 26. You can swap numbers for words that sound like them or look like them. So maybe 3 for the word free, or swap s for 5?

    For example "I will sing to you of Frodo of the nine fingers and the Ring of Doom" could be "iws2yofot9fatrod" or "1ws2y0f0t9f4tr0d"

    If you are dealing with a bank on-line, or any company that uses your credit details, your password is the only input you have towards increasing your security. Take it seriously; it is important. Even with a forum, it could get seriously messy if someone else passed themselves off as you.

    So have fun devising your own passwords, and just to be on the safe side, don't use any of my examples. You don't know who else might have been reading.


    Valerie Joanne Higgins a fantasy artist and poet who lives in Shropshire, England.

    Fantasy coloring books from Ellen Million Graphics Get a pre-made portrait, ready to go! A 48 hour creative jam for artists An e-zine for fantasy artists and writers A shared world adventure

    Return To EMG-Zine Entrance

    All graphics on these pages are under copyright. Webpage design copyrighted by Ellen Million Graphics. All content copyrighted by the creating artist. If you find anything which is not working properly, please let me know!

    Ellen Million Graphics Main Page - Privacy Policy

    EMG powered by: a few minions and lots of enchanted search frogs

    Random artwork
    from this issue: