Violà. The New Blog

Ok folks, it’s ready. The Passpack blog has now officially moved to — you may have to update your RSS feed as well.

There are still a few of the most recent comments which need to be migrated over, but from now on, comments on are closed (I hope) and you may see some momentary wonkiness while I change the theme and CSS to “we’re closed”.

Thanks to…

Thank you for all the tips on migrating the wordpress installation. Adam, I’m still trying to get the redirect from set up… but I’m hopeful. Design-wise, Ali via Friendfeed gave a heads up that the sidebar was too chunky, so we got that slimmed down too now.

And thank to the folks behind the scenes, especially to Donato who kept this project rolling despite the fact that we kept pushing it back, and back, and back… sorry for the ulcer Donato [sheepish smile].

And last but not least: my co-designer, CSS slicer and theme guru Marco Giusti. Good job!

This Week In Privacy: Jan 9, 2009


Weak Password Brings ‘Happiness’ To Twitter Hacker
An 18-year-old hacker with a history of celebrity pranks has admitted to Monday’s hijacking of multiple high-profile Twitter accounts, including President-Elect Barack Obama’s, and the official feed for Fox News.


Will 2009 Be the Year of Multiple Digital Identities?
Just days after Twitter was hacked, a group of entrepreneurs and policy activists gathered to discuss “Privacy 2009: The Year Ahead.” The discussion demonstrated that the privacy debate is starting to mature.


New Data Breach, Privacy Bills in Congress
One year after trying unsuccessfully to introduce legislation on data breaches and protection of individual privacy, California Senator Dianne Feinstein is trying again.

Coming Soon: New Blog. Your Thoughts?

We use this blog for announcements, help articles, some news-ish posts, posts on password basics and even a few things which probably would have been best left unsaid.

In other words… it’s a mess [smile].

So we’ve built a new blog! (sneak peek here).

And I’m cleaning things up during the move. Here’s the idea:

  • No more support articles. Those go in the knowledge base.
  • The basics, and intro to password articles go in the library (also new) so that (1) we can modify them at will without stomping on basic  blog etiquette and (2) your RSS doesn’t get smothered as we publish more.
  • News-ish post. Basically This Week in Privacy and the occasional comment. Strong personal opinions in the personal blogs only. Mine’s here (I rarely post).

What To Do with the Old Blog?

I LOVE throwing things out. So I’m trying very hard to avoid mass historical revisionism.

The posts on will remain as-is, with commenting closed. But I’m concerned about folks who stumble across old help articles, and get outdated information.

There is, I admit, one temptation I couldn’t resist.  I changed every PassPack to Passpack on the new blog (the fact that it remains unchanged on the old blog irks me… but I’m resisting further temptation).

Can You Help Me Out?

First, what do you think of that shiny new blog ? (I’m still working on it, so comments, pinging etc. are closed for the moment)

And can I (pretty please) replace the help articles here with a simple link to the Help Center?

Anything other ideas for building a better blog?

Triple Release: Help Center, Desktop & Simplifications

Happy New Year! Back from our holiday vacation and on a roll with triple release for you (gosh I love saying triple release).

1. Sparkly New Help Center

No more fumbling with support articles on the the blog. You’ve now got tons of help options to choose from, depending on what you need.

New Help Center

  • Knowledge Base
    Help articles galore — search it, or browse by topic. Articles are automatically fed into the Help link inside your Passpack account.
  • Passpack It! Button Issues
    Problems using auto-login or training a website? Use this form to give us the link and what’s wrong. We’ll fix the sites as quickly as we can.
  • Bugs & Known Issues
    You can use this form to report any errors you might encounter. If it’s a known issue, you’ll see a short description with a status update and possible workaround.
  • Suggestions & Ideas
    Sending us feedback just got easier. You can use this form to tell us all your brilliant ideas. Or you can put in your vote for frequent feature requests – this helps us prioritize releases.
  • Contact Support — when all else fails, just ask for help (though with all these other options, Dani may get a little lonely waiting for the support requests to come in).

Tell us what else you’d like to see in the Help Center – we’re all ears.

2. Passpack Desktop Update, Adobe Air 1.5

Some folks ran into a bug using Passpack desktop after the Adobe Air 1.5 update. We’ve got that fixed now, use the Check for update link in your Passpack Desktop, or click below to download now.

While we were at it, we also juiced up Tools > Clean Your Pack. It now also removes duplicate entries and orphaned tags (usually due to using backup/restore for manual synchronization) .

3. Simplified Getting Started

We’re trying to make it easier to get started with Passpack, so we ran a little test. That one test resulted in a lot of changes, some minor, some not. Here’s the list of what we’ve implemented so far:

  • Changed User ID & Pass to User ID & Password. (yes, we know it’s a pass phrase, but “password” is a standard that folks recognize).
  • The quality rating is optional when choosing the Password, replaced by a minimum number of characters. Same goes for the Packing Key… though we desperately beg folks to use a sentence.
  • We’ve built in a set of server-generated RSA keys for each new account. Explorer and slower computers/browsers were simply freezing up with client-side generation. Of course, privacy fanatics like myself can over-ride this with a client-side generation.
  • The email confirmation is sent out with a link. Big change in policy here, but the lack of link was apparently a major stumbling block for many.

That's All Folks (What? You expected MORE??)

Bonus Bug Fix

While we were at it, we also squashed a bug which was causing the application to not automatically lock up when inactive. Fixed.

This Week In Privacy: Jan 2, 2009


A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To a Birthday Greeting
An interesting take on privacy and revealing a piece of information that most people wouldn’t think twice about when signing up for a new online account.


The 500 Most Common Passwords
1 in 9 people use at least one password from this list and one out of 50 use one of the top 20 most common passwords. Is yours on the list?


Top Online Security Threats For 2009
One new infected Web page is discovered every 4.5 seconds. Here’s a look at the top security threats you should be looking out for in 2009.

This Week In Privacy: Dec 26, 2008

The Olympian

Watch Out For ID Theft While Online
If you have some gift money burning a hole in your pocket and want to grab online post-Christmas bargains, beware of ID thieves hoping to make you the next victim.


5 Security Precautions To Take For The Holiday Break
The following last-minute precautions should probably be on your To Do list for just before leaving the office this holiday.

The Recorder & Times

Internet Security Tests Show All’s Not Right In The City
Anyone with a laptop and the right software could slip onto someon’s home wireless network to steal bandwidth to get free internet access or worse to steal sensitive information.

This Week In Privacy: Dec 19, 2008


Lessons Learned From A Hacked Gmail Account
Just as the title says – a few first hand lessons on what to do if you find out your email has been broken into, how to keep your email safe and tips on net security in general.

The Register

Browsers Fail Password Protection Test
Chapin Information Services ran a series of browser security tests and the results are pretty interesting when it comes to browsers such as Google Chrome and Safari.

Identity Theft Resource Center

ITRC’s Identity Theft Predictions For 2009
Every year the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) shares its thoughts for the upcoming year. The following items are ITRC’s predictions for 2009.