Thanks for Bearing with Me!

On the 13th, I will have completed one month at my new job. I love it. The people are great and I could not have picked a job so well-suited for me.

However, it means things are different with my blogging and advocacy work. Because I work four 10-hour days (10-1/2 hrs including lunch), when I get home, I am entirely spent. I’ve tried to do blog posts when I get home. I give up. I can’t. At least I haven’t been able to yet while I’m still learning so much at my job.

At my job, not only am I immersed with cyber security around me (I love that I’m able to apply my schooling), but I’m also dealing with the government contractors, and so.many.acronyms. So, I’m being immersed in cyber lingo and government acronym lingo, and every available brain cell is dissecting sentences with unfamiliar terms and acronyms, and trying to make sense of it all. And . . . on top of that, I’m learning project management, the culture, the people, etc. It’s very exciting and fun. I love the challenge and the environment is great. But, yeah, no wonder I’m tired.

One thing that has been good about this job is that it has given me a break from trauma-related topics while I’m working. For the past 8 years (this month!), I have dealt with abuse-related topics seven days a week. Working gives a healthier balance and will likely prevent the compassion fatigue and emotional burnout I experienced last year. That was not fun, and I want to be mindful of where I am emotionally and be proactive in living in a healthy way.

I know I don’t have to share this stuff, but I’m an open book, and I like to share my journey and experiences because personal stories help people in their own journeys.

One interesting thing about my job is that cyber security professionals are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities. In both my workplace and in my blogging/advocacy work, I am looking for vulnerabilities and exposing the “bad guys” who exploit the vulnerable and cause harm.

Just as Kathi and I like to help protect people here on the blog and give safeguards in churches, my first official project at work has to do with passwords and making sure people are using robust, hack-proof passwords. The latest standards on passwords is that we should ditch what we’ve been taught before about shorter passwords and using special characters. It’s better to use passphrases, 16-64+ characters (no need for the special characters!). Think of a favorite phrase from a book or lyrics from a song. If it’s longer than 16 characters, it will be easier to remember (no more putting Post-It notes with your password beneath your keyboard).

Here’s a place to see how long it would take to hack your password. Check it out. It’s pretty interesting. How Long to Hack My Password.

So, anyway, thank you for bearing with me during this transition. I think things will be more settled in a few months, and I will be able to schedule my time better for more consistent posts.

12 thoughts on “Thanks for Bearing with Me!”

  1. So glad to hear the new job is going well! Sounds mentally exhausting and challenging.
    Speaking of passwords, do you have an opinion about password managers like LastPass? Passwords are the bane of my existence. Keep up the good work and take care of yourself!


  2. Use passphrases and multi-factor authentication where possible.

    Protecting your accounts, particularly your email and financial accounts, is very critical if you are facing an abuse situation.

    Setting it up on Google email, for example, is free. The “Google Authentication” app on your phone provides a code that must be provided to access email. Even if a bad actor steals the password, without the code they can’t log in.

    Here is a handy list of website and whether or not they support multi-factor authentication.

    I’m a firm believer that anyone recovering from an abusive situation of any kind should take precautions to protect their online security and their identity.


  3. Michael, you are a rock star! 👏 thank you for adding more important info!

    I think I need to continue to include cyber tips in my blog posts! Maybe even make a page solely dedicated to cyber-related issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mental exhaustion is real. I know when i was in school and immediately afterwards I read nothing but easy fiction for fun. Now I enjoy more non-fiction because my brain isn’t so tired. Just chill and do your thing!

    Also, the password stuff is cool and I wish the password requirements at my 8 million different sites at work would get the message! I guess I could do that on personal stuff though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m also dealing with the government contractors, and so.many.acronyms.

    Between the Feds and Microsoft, they have exhausted all possible three-letter combinations and are starting on four.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. @Lea:

    Mental exhaustion is real. I know when i was in school and immediately afterwards I read nothing but easy fiction for fun.

    Do you also get the “What do you mean you’re tired? All you do is sit in front of a computer all day! HOW CAN YOU BE TIRED?”

    A lot of people still use the Marxist definition of “Worker”:
    Hard MANUAL Labor and ONLY Hard MANUAL Labor.


  7. Coolio Julio! Delighted you are not only enjoying the new job/challenges, etc., but also a much-needed, clear-your-head from SpA issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Most security managers haven’t caught up with the times… I have to change many passwords every three months, guaranteeing that it’s not going to be difficult to crack. Also, with most security being an afterthought, it makes a lot of sense not to use the same passwords in multiple places, so I think where we’ll end up is some sort of personal, trusted app that manages our security everywhere.

    When it comes to password managers, though… do you really trust Apple, Google, whomever to put your security first, to not be a huge hacker target, and… to not let NSA/CIA/government employees everywhere to have backdoor access to your accounts?

    While I do, unfortunately, store passwords in iCloud/Chrome, my store of choice is a flat file with passwords sitting on an encrypted NAS behind my firewall. Again, unfortunately, these stupid browsers think that the best way to manage your passwords is to HIDE THEM FROM YOU, so it’s often too much of a pain to open my Apple/Google keystore, copy/paste the password and put it in the file.

    Also… interesting tidbit. If a website offers to e-mail your password if you forgot it, that means they store your password unencrypted. https://plaintextoffenders.com/


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