May 7th was World Password Day – Did you know that length is more important than complexity for choosing your passwords? Yup, hackers can crack (guess or determine by force) a “complex” 8 digit code in a few hours – but it takes years to crack a long passphrase, even if it looks simple! Here’s an example:
9@d3n1Q* – only a few hours to crack!
funky clock arrow pluto = years to crack
*note: a long passphrase is great, but don’t use ONLY lower case letters!
What should we do? Well, the best practice is a long passphrase using random words. And, there’s a bonus – it’s easier to remember! For some fun and great tips on passwords, visit Passwordday.org.
How long should my passphrase be? Experts recommend twenty or more characters in length.
Should I include some special characters or numbers? It sure can’t hurt!
OK, but we still use lots of websites and need different passphrases for each. Even using words from my favorite songs (and mixing them up a bit) it’ll still be hard to remember all my logins. Luckily, a password manager can help!
Password managers allow you to use one main passphrase, then they auto-generate strong passwords for your logins. Best of all, they remember all your passwords and do the logging-in for you! As always, compare products carefully before you choose – to get you started, here’s a review of password managers at PCmag.com, and another review at WSJ.com.