Strong computer and Internet passwords are important to avoid having your logon credentials stolen by cyber criminals. One way to create strong passwords is to use passphrases; the use of multiple words or even a whole sentence as your password. And actually, the longer the password, the stronger it is.
A recent SANS Ouch! Newsletter on this topic suggested using the passphrase time for my coffee as an example of a passphrase generated password. Using the How Secure Is My Password tool, to test its strength; this password would take 4 trillion years to break using a PC.
The article next states that adding a special character such as a period or asterisk will make it even stronger. When adding a period; time for my coffee. would require 204 trillion years to crack using a PC. If an asterisk was added instead of the period; time for my coffee* would require 48 quadrillion years to crack with a PC.
I know these time-to-crack periods are almost unimaginable in length, but the bottom line is that these are really, really strong passwords…that are extremely easy to create; and very hard to crack. Let me repeat: really, really strong passwords that are easy to create!!
I challenge all of you “weak password owners” to create some passphrases that are easy to remember but long in characters (don’t use the examples from this article). Then use the How Secure Is My Password tool to test their strength in terms of length of time to crack them. Then, pick the best ones to use…and use them. Do it now, right now; you’ll be safer and glad you did.
Reference: SANS Ouch! article PDF
Related Article: How hackable is your password? McAfee offers password tips.
Be very careful…it’s dangerous out there.
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