Tuesday Sweep: 10 April 2018

Your REVAMPED weekly reminder to back up your data, update software and otherwise pay attention to your digital environment. (Oh, and to head to the CRASH Space meeting…)

This second Tuesday Sweep of the revised zone system focuses on “Identity.” Yours, and how not to get it stolen. I spent a bunch of quality time with my password manager today, changing passwords it considered weak, cleaning out duplicates, sometimes deleting an account all together if I didn’t really use it anyway.

On the Repo: https://crashspace.github.io/tuesday/tuesdaysweep/2018/04/10/tuesday-sweep.html
See All The Zones So Far: https://crashspace.github.io/tuesday/sweep/

Jump in Here

  • Welcome. If you haven’t been following along, it’s okay. You’re not behind, you’re just where you are.
  • Need a instant pick me up? Jump straight to our Easy Wins.
  • There are more recommendations under Start Here.
  • Feeling more ambitious? Review the list of OneThing articles and pick one to catch up on.


Weekly Basics

  • Update main computer(s), phone(s) and tablet(s).
  • Confirm that backup system(s) for your main computer(s), phone(s) and tablet(s) have run.
  • Check snail mail.
  • Clean out wallet/purse/laptop bag.
  • Check junk mail folder for anything suspicious.
  • Check the news for what’s up for a vote, or went to vote. Call both to express your opinion and to say Thank You.

This Week’s Focus: Zone 2 – Identity

Step one of many a crime or con is identity theft.  Wax seals, funny phrases, letters of introduction, humans have invented some crazy mechanisms to attempt to certify that someone is who they say they are.  Online the job’s only gotten trickier.  Here are some tips to make it hard for someone to slip in and pretend to be you. Some tasks require some set up before they can be “maintained” so they’ll be mentioned in the Start Up section. They don’t need to be done all at once. This zone will roll around the second week of every month, so just spend the time you have and get as far as you can.

Start Up
  • Write a list of the major online accounts that could be used to gain access to other accounts, such as email, telcos, hosting services, and financial services. These will be the most important to get secure, and maintain their security.
  • Put all the passwords for those accounts into a password manager, updating them to something stronger.
  • DELETE those passwords from any browsers, google docs, contact files, Evernote files, system keychains, random text files, etc. that you’ve had them stored.
  • Enable 2FA for all of these accounts for which it is an option. ANY two factor is fine at this point. Just do it.
  • Check all your email address in haveibeenpwned.com, change these passwords next.
  • Get in the habit of not clicking links in messages. It’s annoying, I know.  Try to navigate to the site directly and then find the page. If the link’s been shortened got to a search engine’s home page and paste it there. Most will unshorten the link for you.
  • Be careful who you keep in your official contacts list. These can be sucked down by Apps and plugins.
  • Check your credit, heck, freeze your credit.
  • Do an internet search for your physical address, phone numbers. See what comes up.
  • Check your financial accounts for weird transactions, this can be how it starts.
  • Check your emails, including the spam folder, for messages that might mean someone stole your credentials… BUT DON’T CLICK THE LINKS. This style of email is very popular amongst phishers. Type in the site address yourself. (latest scams reported by FTC)
  • Check for weak & duplicate passwords in your password manager
  • Check for super old passwords in your password manager
  • Continue to move all passwords into the password manager and DELETE THEM from other places, like browsers and system keychains.
  • Use these activities as an excuse to delete accounts that aren’t in use.
  • Did you let papers to shred pile up? Take care of that now.


Where do you scan for news?


Feeling dumb or stupid about how not-l33t you are? Angsting over some silly thing you “know better than to do.” Stop. That isn’t useful. Regret is only of use if it prompts an actual change in behavior. Maybe it’s NOT you that sucks. Could be it’s the technology, and you could come up with a fix that would help lots of people. Look forward and make a plan.


We are a community. You are a welcome part of it.


Image at top of post is Blue Dragon by Gabriele Meyer

Knitting and crochet bring relaxation to many folks. In this crowd, we know string-craft as the great grandma of everything we do. It’s being taken to the next generation with AI interpretations of the patterns posted on Raverly.

For those who don’t remember it, the patterns have a similar vibe to the Institute for Figuring‘s Crochet Coral Reef project (TED video).  Daina Taimina, a mathematician, popularized Hyperbolic Crochet (TEDx video, warning terrible buzz).

More on math and crochet

To get started with knitting or crochet, DO NOT try to do the AI patterns. They’ll make you nuts. I did find the book Crafting by Concepts: Fiber Arts and Mathematics (Affiliate Link) by  sarah-marie belcastro (Editor) and‎ Carolyn Yackel (Editor) which looks like a more gentle start to math & craft.  For just some crochet 101, I recommend these getting started videos.  If you’d rather knit, my knitting playlist focuses on continental style.

But yeah, take up knitting or crochet! It’s a great way to drain of nervous tension, and something pretty might result, too!


I make things that do stuff. The best, though, is teaching others to do the same. Founder of @crashspacela Alum of @ITP_NYU

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