My Favouite Things: Mozy online backups

Mozy logo

Before I found Mozy, I was a bit of a slacker when it comes to backing up my files. I knew that the only way to protect them against a hard drive failure, or some greater catastrophe, was to back them up regularly and store the back-ups in another place, but it was such a pain — searching through all my directories, zipping them up, burning them to a CD — that I only mustered the will to do it about once a month, if that.

Then I found Mozy. It’s a free online service that gives you 2GB of storage space to back up your most important files (there’s a for-pay service available, too, if you need more space). You just install their client application, pick which directories you’d like to have backed up, then click a button to make it go. You can back up as often as you’d like, and if you go without for a week, the client warns you that it’s time to press the button again.

After the first back up, which can take a while, the time it takes to do subsequent backups is fairly quick because the client is smart enough to only transfer files that have changed since the last back up.

Mozy sure beats burning your own back-ups. Highly recommended.

My Favourite Things: GFX Password Generator Bookmarklet

Everybody knows that to be really safe, you should use a different password for every web service that you use. When you use the same password for every account, you risk having all your accounts compromised if any one of them is. But who can be bothered to remember all the different passwords that you’d need?

This is the problem that GFX Monk’s Password Generator Bookmarklet solves. With it, you only need to remember one master password. Based on that master password, it generates a unique one for every account that you hold.

It’s dead simple to use. After you have dragged it to your bookmark bar, you just click on it whenever you hit a login page. Up pops up a frame that will prompt you for your master password. When you hit enter, it automatically fills the password field of the page with your unique password.

You obviously need to change the password for your accounts first so they will recognize the generated ones. That’s just as easy. Just click on the generator when you are on the change-password form.

This is a great little tool that I use every day. I don’t know how I’d get by on the web without it.