AN EVEN BETTER PASSWORD PLAN

PASSWORD

In 2011 I created a blog post about passwords that many people liked. Today I am updating that information.

Not much has changed in the past two years. Many people are still using passwords that are easy to crack and are using the same easy to crack passwords on multiple sites. I base this on the numerous stories that are still reported today about websites and databases being hacked.

Researchers say that the main reason for the number of compromised accounts is because of weak passwords. Many people are still using “password” as their password or the name of their children, dog, wife, etc.

Until biometric (finger print, retina scan or facial recognition) access control becomes commonplace, we still have to rely mostly on passwords to keep the bad guys away.

The article I wrote in 2011 talked about creating a password by taking the first letter of each word in a phrase\sentence that is easy for you to remember and adding a symbol and upper case letter(s). I still feel that this is much better than the type of passwords that many people use today. However, there is an even better way to create stronger passwords, use an entire phrase or sentence.

It is a fact; the length of a password makes it much harder to crack than how complex it is. If it takes the hacker too long to crack your password, he will just move on to an easier victim.

For example, this password –

Irlpic$01

is created by using the first letters of the sentence, “I really love premium ice cream” and adding a dollar sign and 01 on the end.

As you can see below, it would take 2 hours to 2 thousand years to crack the password (depending on how powerful the computer is doing the cracking). We can do much better than that.

password1test

All we have to do is use Ireallyloveicecream as our password.

It would take 2 trillion to 2 quintillion years to crack that password.

password2test

Yes, it takes longer to type, but it is more secure than the previous password. Over time, I think you will become accustomed to typing the password sentences you create.

So, do you want a password that will only take a few hours to crack or one that will take many, many, many years to crack?

Pick a password sentence that strikes a balance between:

  • Being easy to remember.

  • Is not so long that you will probably not use it.

  • Is STRONG.

 

 

Stay Safe,

John L. Jones

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6 thoughts on “AN EVEN BETTER PASSWORD PLAN

  1. Thanks for the update. A sentence is easier for me anyway. Good to hear from my favorite techie. Hope your summer is going well. I am back and heading out for “the wedding” (Bev’s son) on Saturday. Keep well and say hi to that lovely girl of yours. Be seeing you soon. Always, Simone

    • I’m glad you found the sentence approach easier. It is a never ending battle with computer security. I think it is better to be vigilant and do the very best we can to keep up versus having some stranger crack our accounts and take over our digital lives.

    • I recommend using one strong BASE password that you can easily remember and then just add a letter or two on the end relative to where the password will be used. Let’s say your base password is Ireallyloveteaching&1, and you want to create a password for your Amazon and Twitter accounts. Your password for amazon could be Ireallyloveteaching&1-A (just add an A on the end to remind you that it is for Amazon). Your Twitter password could be Ireallyloveteaching&1-T. You do not have to remember several different passwords. All you need to do is remember your base password and the rest should be easy.

  2. Ok, here is my problem. MY bank the holder of all my money requires me to have only eight characters, numbers letters capitol and lower case. Its frustrating because I am at the point where many important pw are long crazy things. What is the best approach when you are limited. 🙂

    • The best option when you are limited to 8 characters is to use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters. Also use numbers and symbols such as $, %, &.

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