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Security And Passwords

It is crucial to maintain your shop so that no one who is unauthorized may gain access to your Shop Management pages. While the primary concern is having a good password, it is also important to keep your actual computer safe and secure from others.

The Importance of a Good Password

Recently, the Associated Press released a news story about a group of criminal hackers planning an attempt to deface 6,000 web sites in 6 hours on a specific day. (Defacing is where someone breaks in to a site, posts porn pictures on the home page, slogans, etc.)

Currently, the easiest way for someone to deface Ruby Lane's site is to make attempts to guess a shop's password, and once they guess it, change their shop tag line, intro text, and featured item pictures. For a featured shop, these will then end up on Ruby Lane's home page the next day.

For open, active shops, your individual password is a critical part of Ruby Lane's site security measures, and a weak password makes it easy for criminals to guess your password, enter your shop, and do whatever they want to it: email your customers, change your pictures, close your shop, delete items - you name it.

Guidelines for Choosing a Strong Password

Main rule: Never give out your password, even to Ruby Lane!

1. Use numbers in the middle
2. Using longer passwords is more secure than mixing capital and lowercase letters, plus all lowercase is easier to type.
3. Use at least 6 characters
4. Do not use a dictionary word as part of your password
5. Do not use names of people, pets, or places
6. Don't use parts of your address or phone number, or any other information that others have easy access to.
7. Use things only you know, for example, the year you acquired a pet might be a good thing for part of a password because even close friends may not know this. Using a relative's birth year is not as secure. Favorite colors are bad - other people know these.
8. Don't use the same password on all web sites. We know this is a pain, but many employees at a web site have access to your password. You do not want them to have access to your personal info at other web sites where you may do business.

Can't Think of a Good Password? Here's A Handy Trick:

One of the best ways to create a password is to use the first letter of a phrase, for example:

- iltsarl could be a password for "I love to shop at Ruby Lane"
- msjh2g for "My sister Joann has 2 girls"

Examples of Weak Passwords (taken from actual Ruby Lane shops):

- dictionary words: antiques, password, baseball
- your email address - any buyer has your password
- your first name
- your shop nickname
- dictionary words with 1 at the end

If you have a weak password, please take the time to change it NOW - here's how: http://www.rubylane.com/kb/question.php?ID=306

Caution Using Public Forums

Public forums can be fun and informative, but they also expose you to others who might decide that for some reason they would like access to your shop. As all of the information in these forums is - well, public, do not ever divulge security information to anyone – even if you know them - for any reason, in a forum setting.

Physical Computer Security

Most people can't imagine how or why someone they know would access their shop, but it happens. For example, if your ex-wife is getting your computer in the divorce, or if your son will be taking your old computer off with him to college, be sure that all of the data on it is completely removed before parting with it. And remember that if your computer is lost or stolen, someone will potentially have access to your shop. We have had an actual case where the computer was included as part of the sale of an antique shop, and the new owner went to Ruby Lane and changed all of the registration information for the old owner by mistake!

One way to protect yourself in the event that your computer is lost, is to turn off the Remember My Password option when signing into Ruby Lane, and by removing crucial passwords from the Settings folder of your Browser. That way if your computer is lost, your passwords will not be readily available to whoever uses it.

Backing Up Data

To protect yourself in the unfortunate event that your computer is lost, we strongly recommend that you back up all of your shop inventory data on a regular basis. CD-R (record once) and CD-RW (record many times) drives are very inexpensive these days, and will hold up to 650 megabytes of information. This is a great way to archive your photos too. If possible, store this data elsewhere so that if there is a fire and your computer is lost, you'll be able to replace your data.

Article Last Update: September 10, 2014