Picking A Password
Passwords. Ugh! I'm afraid to even count the number of passwords I have to keep track of. And then there are some sites that require you to update your password every month or few months! You're not supposed to write them down for fear that a bad guy will steal that precious piece of paper, and you're not supposed to save them in your online contacts because some other bad guy can hack your Outlook password and steal all your other passwords. And I know there are apps or programs that help you keep track of all of them (I'll save that exploration for another post), but Holy Guacamole! What's a minimally tech savvy, memory-limited working mom to do?
One of the first questions I guess we need to ask is how do we know if we've even got a good password to begin with? Most sites now require a 6 to 8 character password. I remember back when 4 characters was good 'nuff. But an article I read recently blew my mind, so I thought this would be a good place to share what I learned:
According to USAA Magazine's article, "Worried About Cybersecurity?" when it comes to the following 2 password options: "H7%doss!" or "MyLazyDogRex" the 2nd option is actually stronger! Why? The article explains that a modern day password cracking software program could crack the 8-character string of gibberish in less than 4 hours, while the 12-character plain-English phrase would take 317 years.
The next time you are picking a password, focus on length, not complexity. And make it easier on yourself by choosing a short phrase. Throw in a capital letter and a special character, like basic punctuation, and it strengthens it even more.
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