From The Tips Box: Password Safety, Torrent Tracking

Lifehacker readers remind us to take care of the skeletons lurking in our passwords, highlight some lesser known Quick Look functionality for OS X users, and demonstrate some clever methods to track torrents.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox (tips at, but for various reasons—maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in—the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption.

Quicker Full Screens with Quick Look

Claudio has a quick tip for Mac OS users:

I found out something about Quick Look that I hadn't read about anywhere before and I thought was cool. If you hold down alt/option when you press the space bar, the Quick Look goes straight to a full screen. I find it useful when opening many paged PDFs, or videos in Quick Look.

Keep Track of the Skeletons in Your Passwords

Photo by llamnudds

Daniel wrote in with some advice for those who use skeleton passwords (i.e., single passwords that get you into multiple accounts):

A lot of people can't help but have skeleton key passwords. There are lots of reasons for it, and everyone knows it's a bad idea. Still, though, some, maybe even most people use skeleton key passwords. Skeleton key passwords can be very hard to guess (i.e. kc923kja92l), but it can be very easy to compromise someone's entire online identity - maybe even a bank account or two.

For those that must use the same passwords for multiple things, it's a good idea to split them up into two categories: Big websites and small websites.

Instead of having to remember which password goes to which account, for those skeleton-key fanatics, just use two passwords. One for big websites, such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc., and another for small websites, which have a higher chance of revealing your password, whether you want to or not. I.e. sites that aren't mainstream, aren't as big or accountable, etc. Examples would be local e-shops for your area, a local website, or something of the sort.

Another derivative of this method is adding another password for IM Clients, which are also popularly revealed from files kept on your computer. However, this isn't part of the main method, just an option.

Do you have a global method for selecting passwords—or do you generate unique, secure passwords for every site you register with? Does it differ between large, "trusted" sites and smaller ones?

Keep Track of Torrents for Later Download

Adam Rekerdres tells us how he keeps track of the torrents we find while browsing at work:

We all know that site like Mininova have a bookmarking feature that lets you choose torrents to download. But you are out of luck if you are on a tracker that doesn't have this feature. What if you are browsing along at work and find a torrent that you want?

We know about web.ui, but I couldn't get it to work, and I think you have to have an open port, so that nixes using it at work.

The hack I came up with uses the application Read It Later.

All you do is set your torrent program to download from your personal Read It Later RSS feed. Then, when you find a torrent, you right click on the torrent file, and click "Read It Later". Done.

Obviously, your torrent program won't download the web pages and articles that you also have tagged on Read It Later.

This also works on the iPhone with the Read It Later Pro application. The pro app has a "tap to save" feature where you can tap on links and save them to your Read It Later feed. Now you are remote controlling torrents with the iPhone!

Pretty simple! Works like a charm.

Keeping Tattoos Covered at Work

Photo by daphonque

Brianna told us about how she deals with her work dress code:

My job doesn't allow for visible tattoos and while most of mine are easy to cover, I've got one on the back of my neck that shows whenever my hair is up. I used to be stuck either keeping my hair down or trying to cover everything up with make up. But then a friend gave me the stupidest, yet best suggestion ever: wear a scarf. It's easy to pull off even in a professional environment and it keeps my tattoo covered. I still don't have a good solution for the one on my upper arm..other than longer sleeves.

Does anyone have any solutions for Brianna's other tattoo? How do you cover your own? Do you even need to cover them up or does your job allow for visible body art?


    "But then a friend gave me the stupidest, yet best suggestion ever: wear a scarf"

    Why would I want to wear a scarf indoors? Unless it was a purely decorative scarf (which would probably be too flimsy to cover anything effectively, anyway).

    My rule: Don't get tattoos that can't be covered up easily. If I have to go out of my way to cover it, then I would seriously reconsider getting one there. I have a small tattoo halfway down my back on the right-hand side and the only people who've seen it are those I've deliberately shown it to.

      This helps for people considering getting a tattoo, but not Brianna.

      Using clothing (such as scarves) is a good, inexpensive option (compared to make-up), and if you can pull it off, can be quite fashionable.

      If you find it's too much of a hassle you may want to look at laser removal, or possibly a job with a more liberal dress code.

        People that are getting a tattoo should ask themselves:

        "Am I always going to be working low-class jobs where status isn't based on image or do I have aspirations of becoming successful in the real world?"

        If the answer leans towards the latter then maybe getting that "666" tattooed on your forehead isn't such a good idea :S !

    "People that are getting a tattoo should ask themselves:
    "Am I always going to be working low-class jobs where status isn’t based on image or do I have aspirations of becoming successful in the real world?""

    You're kidding, right?
    It's attitudes like that which send society backwards - why on earth should "Image" ever be related to "Successful" and "The Real World"?

    I'm a successful freelance web developer, working in the real world. I have tattoos. They are visible to those who look. My "Image" is great with clients and users of the websites alike.

    I can understand your point about a tattoo on your forehead that has religious connotations, given the majority of the population is religious in one form or another, so you're best off not offending a potential employer.

    Still, your work should be based on skill & competency, not "Image".

    Torrent Tracking ? I have a new site at [only 2 days old] & not indexed yet, and my first login was my own ISP!
    Downloaded some movies. Goes to show how much they care. Truth is they don't. Money is Money.

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