Heartbleed and you

Heartbleed: What does it mean to you.

These are scary times, but we have some advice, and have compiled places below where you can go for more info.

By now you have seen the news, probably had people ask you if you were changing all your passwords, and are wondering if you should be freaking out.

We try to keep people from freaking out, but we do think you should changes some passwords, and in general follow some of our password advice.


There are a couple of really important things to keep in mind.

  • While the Heartbleed vulnerability has gone undetected for a very long time, there are no known exploits or data losses. However, by the nature of the exploit, it is impossible to tell so its good be careful and vigilant.
  • Changing your password on unpatched servers does not make you safe. Its important to wait until a server has been patched before you change your password.
  • If you get a legit message from a service that you use asking you to change your password, please heed their advice. But also, beware of phishing scams. Bad people are out there and they will try to exploit your confusion. Be sure you are making changes on the legit site and not being scammed.

Below is a quick list of common services many of our clients use that have been patched that require password changes. If you use these services, go now and change your password. And, if you us that same login and password someplace else, you need to change your password there as well for safety.

  1. Dropbox
  2. Google Apps
  3. Facebook
  4. Instagram
  5. Pintrest
  6. Yahoo/Yahoo Mail
  7. Rackspace Mail
  8. Media Temple
  9. GoDaddy
  10. GitHub

Creativetechs Password Advice

Use a Password Manager (Keychain, 1Password, etc.)
Use different passwords everywhere. Yes this is difficult, but that is why we recommend a password manager.
Use complicated passwords. There is a ton of advice about how to create a complex password. (See links below) Just know that the longer the better, mix in Upper/lower case, add in some numbers or other characters.


Some useful links.

Heartbleed checker. Drop a url in here and see if the site you are visiting is safe.

The Heartbleed Hit List. Passwords you need to change right now.

Heartbleed explained in a video.

Problems with MailChimp Interest Groups.

MailChimpGroups.pngThis is an open letter to the MailChimp team:

Let me start off by saying that I LOVE the MailChimp service for handling email newsletters. We’ve been MailChimp clients for over years, and MailChimp has been my product of choice for most of the email marketing classes I’ve led over the years.

But the Interest Groups feature in MailChimp is broken. I’m hoping that by demonstrating our problems with the current Interest Groups implementation, those issues will be addressed, and I’ll be able to continue using MailChimp for many years to come. As it stands today, I’m seriously considering moving to another service for our training classes. And I’d really prefer to stay with MailChimp.… Read More

Save QuickTime from DVDs with HandBrake.


Here is a question we get periodically from clients: How can I import videos from a DVD into a Keynote presentation? The answer is HandBrake, a wonderful free utility that easily converts video on a standard DVD into presentation-friendly QuickTime movies.

Link: HandBrake 0.9.4

HandBrake is a small freeware utility that lets you easily capture clips from DVDs as H.264 video files. The resulting files can be played using the QuickTime player, imported into the latest version of iMovie, or placed into a Keynote presentation.

Of course the most common use of HandBrake these days seems to be converting DVD movies into a format you can watch on your iPhone. But we’re sticking with business uses for today’s tip. :)

Photoshop Marathon All Day.


Tomorrow we’re trying something fun: an all-day online Photoshop Marathon. We’ll be rerunning recordings of Jason Hoppe’s full 10-Week Photoshop Course from earlier this year, with a couple live Q&A to keep things interesting.

Three Ways To Watch:

Method 1- GoToWebinar:

Method 2- TweetChat:

Method 3- Ustream.tv:
Read More

Download Free! (for free of course)

free-bookcover-250px.pngThe hardcover edition of Chris Anderson’s new book, FREE, ships tomorrow, July 9th. You can buy it in bookstores or download free digital editions that the publisher is releasing on the same day.

Normally, I would write about this after we have links for all the downloads. However, many of the free editions will only be available for a single week, and I don’t want you to miss out!

Currently Available:

AudioBook Abridged – MP3s (Free)

AudioBook Unabridged – MP3s (Free)

Online eBook – scribd (Free)

Online eBook – Google books (Free)

Kindle Edition – Amazon (Free)

Printed Book – Hardcover ($18)

The abridged audiobook was available early, so I downloaded and finished it over the weekend. I’m looking forward to my copy of the hardcover which is already on order from Amazon.

Check back Tuesday, and we’ll update you with links on this post for the other free editions as soon as we know where they are available.… Read More

90-Minutes on Social Media Marketing.

Last week I gave a talk for the Seattle Graphic Artists Guild about why designers should be using today’s online social media tools to attract work. I promised I’d post a video recording of that talk, and here it is.

I gave this talk twice. Once as a rough draft to a small webinar audience, and the next day at the luncheon to a live audience of creative small business owners.

After reviewing both recordings, I find I like the rough draft a bit better. It feels a little more casual, and I enjoy the side comments I found myself making as I was actively figuring out how to describe certain topics.

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Social Marketing Tools in Plain English.

SPGA-April09-Postcard.pngIf you are looking for a good way to get a handle on various online social marketing tools, there is no better place to start than with these short "Plain English" videos from Common Craft:

Video: LinkedIn

Video: Social Media

Video: Podcasting

Video: Twitter

Video: Blogging

Video: Social Bookmarking

Video: Social Networking Sites

Video: RSS

Full Archive: The Common Craft Show.

These videos are created by Lee LeFever in Seattle and provide some of the best, jargon-free explanations you are going to find for today’s various online marketing tools.

Read More

The Tech Consultant’s Keychain Toolkit.


There are three basic tools I need as a modern technical consultant: A flash drive to keep software utilities handy; a small screwdriver to open the occasional computer case; and (most importantly) a steady supply of business cards for referrals and introductions as I talk with people during the day.

I’ve spent more time than I can justify pulling together a basic toolkit that’s with me all the time. Here for your enjoyment, costing less than $100, is my keychain toolkit:

LaCie 8GB iamakey USB Flash Drive. ($35)

Swiss Tech Screwz-All Keyring Tool. ($4.75)

MOO MiniCards & MiniCard Holder. ($19.95 per 100 cards)

I looked at a lot of different products before settling on these three. If you are curious, read on for some alternate flash drives and keychain screwdrivers you might also consider.… Read More

Three Great Social Marketing Manifestos.

CareFeedingYourNetwork.pngNext month, I’m giving a talk at Seattle’s Graphic Artists Guild about online social marketing. Want a sneak peak at some of the topics we’ll be discussing? Here are three short, manifestos to get you started:

The Care & Feeding of Your Network.

Build Your Brand in Bits and Bytes: Building Your Personal Brand Online.

Smart Networking: End the Resistance, Prepare for Success and Get 24/7 Results Without the 24/7 Effort.

I hand-picked these three from a terrific collection of manifestos at ChangeThis.com. They are all a quick read, and each has a couple nuggets of wisdom that I’m hoping to incorporate into next month’s talk.… Read More