Ahead of the Neckbeard Curve

As you know, until last year the state of South Carolina kept all its sensitive records in a giant Excel spreadsheet called "social-sec-nums-DO_NOT_SHARE.xlsx". When the vault marked "Secret Folder" on Rhoda's laptop was breached and everybody's info got sent to some Nigerian prince, we all received a consolation prize of free credit monitoring. For A WHOLE YEAR.

The bad news: that year is up. The good news: I just got a letter from Adobe... One more free year!

I'm pleading with you. If you use a service that has two-factor authentication—Evernote, iCloud, Dropbox, and especially Google—TURN IT ON and use it. Use a good password manager/generator like 1Password to keep unique and genuinely strong passwords.

I mentioned 2-factor to my students the other week and they looked at me like I was nuts. It sounds obscure and neckbeardy right now only because there has not been a data catastrophe. Embarrassments and inconveniences, sure, but no livelihood-destroying disasters.