Your passwords and you

lolcat

In the midst of all the preparation for the great Hackerspace events that 091 Labs have coming up in the next week (I’ll be giving a talk on photography and constructing your own camera that you must attend), I want to write down a quick word about the security of your passwords.

Whether it is a desktop or laptop, when you use a computer at the Labs you are using a public machine. We will have old members and new members and the occasional outright stranger dropping in on the Labs to attend our workshops in the coming week. Every one of these folk has as much of an expectation to use these computers as you do. :]

I need to point out that takes a determined person under five minutes to log onto a machine, locate saved sessions and passwords, and record what they find. But thankfully I do not suggest or believe that any member of 091 Labs would act so maliciously.

Instead my biggest concern is potential embarrassment from stemming from inadvertent access to personal or otherwise sensitive information. I have logged into a given computer to find private email accounts left open, Facebook and Twitter account accessible and instant messaging clients left running. I have come home from the Labs at night to find that two people had logged into their Gmail accounts on my laptop over the course of the day.

Two good things for you to do:

  1. Do not save your passwords on an 091 Labs machine. If available, use your browser’s private browsing mode. If you can’t, remember to clear your history at the end of the session.
  2. Use your own computer. That seems to be the majority action right now.

So everyone be careful and have some fun in the coming week!

June 22nd Meetup

When we held our first weekly community meetup back on March 2nd we spoke about one day getting a place to call home. Since then we have met every Tuesday and kept that dream alive. Week by week we have grown stronger as a group. When we needed encouragement people like Mitch Altman and John Breslin took an interest in our project and recharged our batteries. At every step of our journey Jeffrey and all the TOG crew were there to offer support and advice.

Today we signed the lease on a ground floor unit in Exchange House on Fairgreen Road. Located in the centre of Galway City we are close by the bus terminus and train station. We would like to thank Sarah at Fairgreen Block Management, Enda at AIB and Sam at Baseplan for making this possible. It will be a busy weekend moving in and getting the place setup in time to play host for our next weekly community meetup 7pm Tuesday, June 22nd. If you cannot make Tuesday nights then get in contact to arrange an alternative time to visit and say hello. We shall be adding an activities page with details of upcoming classes and events at 091 Labs over the coming days.

Hello world!

Welcome to our new home – we are still in startup mode so bear with us while we get up and running – if you want to get involved please get in contact. We plan to meetup at a city centre location every Tuesday evening and hope to have a lease signed on a premises before the end of March.

If you are in the Limerick area this weekend and are free Saturday afternoon from 12am-6pm pop along to the Ubuntu Ireland talks at UL. Jeffrey Roe from TOG will give a talk titled “So you want to build a Hackerspace” which is recommended checking out.