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Are you choosing a good password?


By on Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Passwords, ugh, don't you hate them? Passwords are a shared annoyance and inconvenience for all of us these days. Passwords are our main line of defense to verify we are who we say we are and to protect our identity and data. Since passwords are such a critical component to our daily technology lives we've been forced to make them less "guessable" more cryptic and thus harder to remember.

The most common technique for making your password has been to take a word, it is called a pass-WORD after all, and add some capitals, a number and then maybe some funky symbol like #, % or !. This is great, but surprisingly enough, this isn't really as secure as it could be AND it's silly hard to remember.

Today the witty folks at xkcd, an online daily comic for techie nerds such as ourselves, posted a great little comic covering this topic. 

Comic courtesy of xkcd

The first row explains, in some super geeky math, that a "standard" "secure" password, with today's computing power, is hackable/guessable in around three days...Scary right?

The second row shows the technique that I really like and have been using for years. A simple sentence with regular words that may or may not correlate with one another. In their example it would take nearly 530 years to crack the example passprhase and is probably 100 times easier to remember.

So next time you're forced to reset your password or need to think of a new one, try a short sentence. You can still capitalize and use punctuation as you'd like, but at least you won't need that sticky note on the side of your monitor to help you remind you what cryptic non-english word you choose this month.

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