Passwords, Bloody Passwords

What is my bloody password?

They insist that we change our password every 90 days.

That’s a real pain.

I suppose many passwords are just simply insecure.

I wonder how many people use their birthdates as their password.

I know for sure I’ve done that before.

I also know that many people’s password is simply “password.”

That’ll drive your system administrator nuts.

But getting a good password – one that you can remember – can be a real challenge.

In general, a good password will have a mix of lower- and upper-case characters, numbers, and punctuation marks, and should be at least 6 characters long.

Passwords should also not be any word in any “cracking dictionary.” There are lists of words that crackers use to try to crack passwords: passwords that a lot of people use.

Some of these lists include:

Abbreviations, Asteroids, Biology, Cartoons, Character Patterns, Machine names, famous names, female names, Bible verses, male names, Movies, Myths-legends, Number Patterns, Short Phrases, Places, Science Fiction, Shakespeare, Songs, Sports, Surnames

So you need a really solid password that no one can crack.

Unfortunately, passwords like this are often hard to remember and result in people writing them down and pasting them on to the computer itself.

Now what’s the use of a password that’s pasted on your PC?

But who the heck can remember something like “Zm%*4##)?#2”?

A colleague of mine – Dr N – actually created a password that she claimed was “iron-clad” and could withstand “brute force attacks.”

Then she went for a vacation, came back to work, and completely forgotten her password.

She couldn’t for the life of her recalled what it was.

Couldn’t crack her own password.

She had to call the IT department to deal with it and it was another major round of pain.

A friend of mine uses all his ex girlfriends’ names.

That’s not good.

Hackers don’t necessarily know that your second ex’s middle name is Brenda, but it’s easy enough to get a list of 100,000 names and try each one.

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