So Many Passwords

Since chang­ing how I han­dled my pass­words from using one pass­word for every­thing like a n00b to using a unique pass­word for every­thing, I have amassed a list of over 80 site/username/password combinations.

Look­ing over that list, I’m notic­ing quite a few sites which I don’t vis­it any­more and some which I don’t even rec­og­nize. So I decid­ed to prune the list, and I’m notic­ing a def­i­nite pro­gres­sion in pass­word hard­en­ing. Here are the guide­lines I use when set­ting a password:

  • Make use of let­ters (a-z, A-Z), num­bers (0-9), and sym­bols (such as #%!_-&). The more com­plex your pass­word is, the less like­ly it will be cracked.
  • Use pass­words that are at least 8 char­ac­ters long, if not longer.
  • Do not use any­thing which can be found in a dic­tio­nary as your pass­word! When in doubt, Google your pass­word; if it has results — espe­cial­ly more than a page’s worth — con­sid­er mak­ing it longer or more complex.
  • Nev­er use the same pass­word for more than one site. If it is cracked at one site, it becomes that much more inse­cure at oth­er sites you use it at.

Anoth­er trend which I have read about (in PC Mag­a­zine if I’m not mis­tak­en) involves using entire phras­es or even para­graphs as your pass­words. Obvi­ous­ly, avail­able length and the allowance of white­space in the pass­word will affect that, but if you could use as your pass­word some­thing like the fol­low­ing quote, it’s going to be quite hard to crack!

Then were the king’s scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twen­ti­eth day there­of; and it was writ­ten accord­ing to all that Morde­cai com­mand­ed unto the Jews, and to the lieu­tenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hun­dred twen­ty and sev­en provinces, unto every province accord­ing to the writ­ing there­of, and unto every peo­ple after their lan­guage, and to the Jews accord­ing to their writ­ing, and accord­ing to their language.

That’s Esther 8:9 (King James Ver­sion), by the way, the longest verse in the Bible.

Keep your pass­words secure. Look­ing in my list, there are some sites (such as my bank’s) that are too impor­tant to leave at risk of being eas­i­ly compromised.

Fea­tured image: source, license

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