Passwords / Passphrases
What makes passphrases better than passwords is length. Hackers have indexed millions of traditional, 8 character passwords making it essential for your passphrase to be unique. Often hackers are not targeting you specifically. They're looking for weak passwords that might lead to anything of value - other passwords, VPN access, or credit card numbers buried in folders tucked away in gigabyte hard drives or the cloud.
Create a strong passphrase using the following guidelines:
- Is longer than 20 characters
- Doesn't use common phrases found in literature or music
- Doesn't contain your name, user name or company's name
- Uses upper and lower case letters, symbol, and number
- Is not a previous passphrase
A passphrase should still contain special characters (like apostrophes or quotes) and spaces. Here are a couple example passphrases with capital letters, symbols, numbers and spaces:
- A juggler's #1 tool: 3 balls; 28 characters
- Johnny's good in 2 many things; 30 characters
- Green*gophers*gulp*green*grapes?; 35 characters
- Muddy.Buddy.Nutty.Fun; 21 characters
Additionally, it is important to use unique passphrases for each account. You can use random words, alliteration or rhyming words to help make passphrases memorable but you can also use a password manager. Password managers have different forms, varying prices and variety of functionalities. For more information on evaluating password managers see the links below.