How secure is your password?
How to create a safe and easy to remember password
It's World Password Day, so it's the perfect time to see how secure your password is.
Remember, just because a password is hard for you to remember, doesn't mean that a computer won't crack it within minutes or hours.
If you take away one thing from this article, it should be this: A long, easy to remember password is better than a short, complex password.
Let's illustrate this with a couple of examples. The first from XKCD shows the complicated password "Trub4dor&3" might appear secure, but it will take 3 days to crack at an estimated rate of 1,000 guesses per second.
Make it as long as possible
Use a variety of characters
Use different passwords whenever possible
Sign-up for two-factor authentication
Don'tUse any factual information e.g. birthdays
Share your password over email or text
Use simple passwords like "12345", "password" or "qwerty"
Meanwhile, a password made up of four random but easily memorable words "correct horse battery staple" would take 550 years to crack at a rate of 1,000 guesses per second. The more characters a password has, the longer it takes to crack.
Sound too good to be true? Let's look at another example, courtesy of Steve Gibson, who hosts the Security Now podcast.
Which is more secure?
PrXyc.N(n4k77#L!eVdAfp9 (23 characters)
D0g.....................(24 characters long)
Look closely, you'll see both include an uppercase letter, lowercase letter, number, and "special" character. So the second is more secure because it is longer.
Gibson doesn't recommend adding dots into all your passwords, but does suggest you come up with unique padding to help increase the length of passwords.
Most websites require you to use capital letters and numbers so this can act as your padding between four or more random but memorable words.
"You could put some padding in front, and/or interspersed through the phrase, and/or add some more to the end. You could put some characters at the beginning, padding in the middle, and more characters at the end. And also mix-up the padding characters by using simple memorable character pictures like "" or "[*]" or "^-^" . . . but do invent your own," Gibson noted.
Digital Risk Report 2020
A global view into the impact of digital transformation on risk and security managementDownload now
6 ways your business could suffer if you don’t backup Office 365
Office 365 makes it easy to lose valuable data regularly, unpredictably, unintentionally, and for goodDownload now
Get the best out of your workforce
7 steps to unleashing their true potential with robotic process automationDownload now
8 digital best practices for IT professionals
Don't leave anything to chance when going digitalDownload now