PASSWORD – I’LL SHOW YOU MINE IF YOU SHOW ME YOURS

How strong is the password you use most often? I went to howsecureismypassword.net and typed in my Gmail password. My password is pretty secure. As you can see below, it will take 552 quadrillion years to crack my password.

Test your password. Go to howsecureismypassword.net and type in your password and see how strong it is. I read an article that said some people actually use “password” or “12345678” for their passwords. Those passwords can be cracked instantly.

I know we all have a lot of passwords to remember. So many as a matter of fact that sometimes we choose less than strong passwords or use the same password for every account. I have met people that write passwords down – not a good idea. Creating good passwords is not as hard as you think.  Here are the steps:

  • Take a piece of paper and a pen.

  • Think of one to four things you know very well or enjoy a great deal.

  • Write these things down.

  • Create a sentence using one of the four things you just wrote down.

  • Write down the names of a few of the websites you log into.

  • Now create a password using the first letters of each word in the sentence you created.

Given that you have created a password using something you know very well or enjoy a great deal, you should be able to remember it without writing it down.

My Example:

My sentence is, “My all-time favorite football team is Michigan Wolverines.”

My websites are – Gmail.com, Ring.com, Cybrary.it.

If I take the first letters of each word in that sentence, my password would be

mafftimw.

I tested the password I just created and it is not very secure. It will only take 5 seconds to crack it. However, it does not take much to greatly increase the security of my password. All I need to do is add upper and lowercase letters, add a symbol and a number. For example,

MafftiMW$01

After making those easy changes, it will now take 400 years to crack my password.

I am sure you have heard that you should not use the SAME EXACT passwords at EVERY website you login to. So, if I add my websites to my base password, it becomes even tougher to crack. For example,

MafftiMW$01-Gmail (Will take 93 trillion years to crack).

MafftiMW$01-Ring (Will take 1 trillion years to crack).

MafftiMW$01-Cybrary (Will take 552 quadrillion years to crack).

Do you only want to have to remember one password? You can always use a password manager. A password manager stores all of your online passwords in a secure encrypted database. I have never been a fan of password managers. I’ve always been concerned about some other entity possibly knowing or having access to my passwords. Password manager companies claim that they don’t know your passwords. For the past two weeks, I have been testing Dashlane. So far so good. It is very easy to use.

https://www.dashlane.com/

Until biometrics or some other access control method becomes prevalent, passwords are a necessary evil. A password is often the only thing standing between your personal information and a bad guy.

 

Stay Safe,

 

John

 

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