Proper Passwords

As a IT security professional, I find myself advising others on matters of privacy and security. One of my recommendations has been to use a longer password that is easy to remember rather than a password that has "complexity" like numbers and special characters. A 12 character password using only letters is harder to crack than an 8 character one with numbers and special characters. Now the FBI is getting on board with this methodology as well.

The easiest way to do this is to choose a favorite phrase, poem, paragraph, etc and pick out sections of it. For example, lets say you are a US history enthusiast, you can use the declaration of independence- "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.". From there you can just choose sections of it. For one account you use "libertyandthe pursuit". Another you use "allmeanarecreatedequal". It's easy to remember and hard for a hacker to crack. And if it is a website you haven't used in a while, you have a much better chance at getting your password right.

For this to work, you cannot tell anyone what the base passage is. Don't post the paragraph on Facebook or the poem on Instragram or read the book to your kids all the time. Choose something well known to you but not publicly known. It's just an easier and better way to have secure passwords in a day when more of our important accounts are available online. Stay safe out there!

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