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PASSWORDS EXPLAINED – WHY SHOULD MY PASSWORDS BE COMPLEX?

How would I ever remember a password like “e$K7e*lx”?  How important is your password, really?  The greatest data security systems in the world can only keep you as secure as the strength of your password used to gain access to your sensitive data.  This is why the big data storage organizations require you to choose a “Strong” password.

HOW DO THEY DETERMINE A “STRONG” PASSWORD?

Why is it that 8 characters, one upper case letter, one lowercase letter, and one number are the security standard?

If a desktop computer was given the task of breaking the below passwords, here’s how long it would take:

PASSWORD

CRACK TIME

golf 0.0000 seconds – Favorite hobby
10081975 0.025 – Birthday
fluffy23 11 minutes – Dog’s name with a number
F2luf3fy 15 hours – Dog’s name with capitol and numbers sprinkled
F2luf3f*y 275 days – Add a symbol and make it 9 characters
F2luf3f~y 1 year – Instead, add a symbol that isn’t part of the number keys

WHY DO I GET LOCKED OUR AFTER A CERTAIN NUMBER OF FAILED ATTEMPTS?

Many portals will block your account or your Internet address for 15 minutes after 3-5 failed attempts.  This prevents human efforts from breaking your password manually, but there are computer algorithms that can get around this.

WHY AM I BEING ASKED TO CHANGE MY PASSWORD?

If a computer can crack a 9-character complex password in 1 year, then changing your password often would make a successful crack statistically impossible.  This is why sometimes you’re asked to change your password every ninety days

SO HOW CAN I HAVE A SECURE PASSWORD, AND BE ABLE TO REMEMBER IT?

Take the example above of the dog’s name.  Choose some word that has meaning to you, that is also obscure and few people would relate to you.  Then sprinkle in a few numbers, symbols, and uppercase letters.  Get the word to be 8 characters or greater and then be prepared to change it from time to time for highest security.

WHAT ABOUT PASSWORD LOCKERS LIKE ROBOFORM?

We don’t recommend using password recording software.  It definitely makes life simpler, but you security is only as reliable as the software you’re using.  Also, it makes your mind lazy and you’re more likely to forget important passwords if your recording software is unavailable or crashes.