Monthly Archives: December 2012

Google+ Training

Even if you haven’t been able to make it to the training that have taken place at any of the Asian Hope Schools I am guessing you are still interested in training, right?!?!  Since I like this assumption, I’ll be adding the presentations I’ll be giving at each campus up on the blog so you can access them at your convenience.

Today I’ll share with you the presentations that were given on Google+. So far we have given a presentation at Asian Hope International School, Logos, and for the VDP.  Please feel free to click on the link below that corresponds with the campus that you are at.

If you work at KCIS and would like to look at the Google+ trainings feel free to click on the AHIS link too!

I’m sure you know that there has been a pretty big push within Asian Hope to get everyone on board with using Google+.   There are so many great reasons to be using Google+ as an organization because it is such an easy way to share information with the entire organization! Want to know what’s going on at the other schools, check out Google+.  Want others to know what you’re up to in your classroom, post it on Google+. Collaborate and share ideas between all the schools without ever having to leave your own!  How amazing is that!?!

But did you also know that people are using Google+ in the classroom?  Check this link out to find out more about teachers using it to communicate and collaborate within their classrooms.



keeping your accounts safe: multifactor authentication

For extremely sensitive information you should have even higher security than normal. Multifactor authentication is a way to do just that.

Believe it or not, you may already be using multifactor authentication for logging in to your bank! Do you have to answer a security question, or select a picture? Is there any other challenge beyond your password? If so, your bank is great!

Multifactor Authentication (MFA) is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a way to provide a secondary (or tertiary, or more!) way of verifying that you should have access to what you’re trying to get in to. It adds an additional layer of security that will protect you even further in the case that your password is lost or stolen.

This isn’t available on all websites, but it is available on your Google provided Asian Hope account. You can access it in two ways: through SMS or through an app on your smartphone… even in Cambodia!

It’s easy to set up, simply go to: and turn on 2-step verification. Once it’s set up, you can print a list of emergency codes to put in your wallet in case you don’t have your phone. You can also set certain computers as ‘trusted’ so that you won’t be prompted for your code from them. Make sure you password protect your computer though! Otherwise you lose some of the benefits of MFA.

keeping your accounts safe: passwords

Everyone knows you should have a strong password, but what does that mean? In principle, it means generating the greatest entropy. That’s the cool way of saying “hard to guess for computers and humans.” Practically, it means choosing long, highly variable and random strings. The exact math behind calculating entropy changes depending on who you talk to. For this, I’ll be using this password strength tester as it takes into account common combinations. (e.g. ‘q’ is almost always followed by ‘u’ – so you don’t get points for that)

If you’re already bored, try your password out at
It will tell you how much time a common desktop computer will take to break your password.

Continuing on though, let’s look at some examples:

6 characters long, only numbers.
9.7 bits of entropy. 

This is a terrible password. Not only is it on the list of 25 most popular passwords of 2012, it has very low entropy. With only digits 0-9 this would be broken in milliseconds by a password cracker or easily guessed by an average human.

8 characters long, only numbers.
13.6 bits of entropy.

It’s easy for me to remember: it’s my wife and daughters birthdays! It’s also easy to type! No one will ever guess! You’d think we’re getting better, but we’ve still limited ourselves to just numbers. Trivial for a computer to break. Easy to guess by looking at your Facebook profile.
8 characters long, numbers, upper and lowercase numbers and special characters.
38.3 bits of entropy.

It’s still easy for me to remember: it’s my wife and daughters birthdays! It’s not so easy to type though. As for entropy, this it the minimum you should have on your accounts.

25 characters long, all lower case
93.6 bits of entropy.

Does this surprise you? It should! It won’t work on some websites that demand you use upper and lower case passwords, but simply having a very long password composed of random words is quite effective! (credit goes to: xkcd) The key to this technique is random words. You can get long passwords by using Bible verses or Shakespeare, but you’re reducing the entropy by selecting words that commonly follow others.

So, how do your passwords fare?