Not to scare you, but everything you once heard about password security is now said to be a load of old tosh.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Nearly 15 years ago, a man named Bill Burr published a book on password management that many organisations and people supported. He worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and was as the expert in creating safe and secure passwords. His advice was that passwords which were made up of random numbers, letters and special characters were said to be almost impossible to hack. Also, he suggested that we should all change our passwords every 90 days.
Fast forward to today.
Bill Burr recently said he ‘regrets much of what he did’. In actual fact, these kinds of passwords are easier for a computer to crack. How come? It boils down to the fact they’re much harder for people to remember. This meant when the 90 days were up and the password had to be changed, people were only amending one character – making hacking super simple.
So, what’s the latest advice?
The new guidance for creating a strong password is to build long phrases or string random words together. So instead of something like ‘Nhs7*h%5Hta)’ choose a password like 'longpasswordsarebetter' or ‘footballcoffeestudentmachine’.
Not only is this tougher for a computer to guess, it’s much easier for you to remember. It’s a win-win situation.
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Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.