Technology How to Make Better Passwords—Ones You Can Remember

18:52  05 may  2017
18:52  05 may  2017 Source:   newsweek.com

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The only secure password is one that you can 't remember , but there are times when you can 't use a The PAO method of memorization has cognitive advantages; our brains remember better with visual How to Create a Secure Password You Can Remember Later: 4 Key Methods | Buffer Blog.

How to Remember Passwords . Co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Updated: March 29, 2019. A lie about your life is even better , if you can remember it.[2]. No one wants to memorize dozens of unrelated passwords , but reusing the same one is even worse.

Mail.ru logo in front of a displayed binary code, May 4, 2016. There are some tricks to help you remember more secure passwords.: Password code hacking © Dado Ruvic/Illustration TPX/Reuters Password code hacking This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The first Thursday in May is World Password Day, but don’t buy a cake or send cards. Computer chip maker Intel created the event as an annual reminder that, for most of us, our password habits are nothing to celebrate. Instead, they – and computer professionals like me – hope we will use this day to say our final goodbyes to “qwerty” and “123456,” which are still the most popular passwords.

The problem with short, predictable passwords

The purpose of a password is to limit access to information. Having a very common or simple one like “abcdef” or “letmein,” or even normal words like “password” or “dragon,” is barely any security at all, like closing a door but not actually locking it.

How to choose safe passwords—and remember them too

  How to choose safe passwords—and remember them too Forget fingerprints—the right password can provide robust protection for your accountAnother day, another major data breach—and another article advising you to strengthen your passwords. These secret bits of information act as the keys to all of our important online accounts, from social networks to email inboxes to bank accounts.

This way, there’s just one password to remember — so make sure it’s super-strong. Top-rated password managers cost between and But even the best passwords can be compromised. You may get fooled by a phishing email scam and accidentally give your passwords away, or they

How to Create a Secure Password . Five steps to make a strong password you can remember . The best way to create a secure password is to start with a simple base phrase and turn it into This kind of software creates personal lockers to keep all your passwords locked under one master

Hackers’ password cracking tools take advantage of this lack of creativity. When hackers find – or buy – stolen credentials, they will likely find that the passwords have been stored not as the text of the passwords themselves but as unique fingerprints, called “hashes,” of the actual passwords. A hash function mathematically transforms each password into an encoded, fixed-size version of itself. Hashing the same original password will give the same result every time, but it’s computationally nearly impossible to reverse the process, to derive a plaintext password from a specific hash.

Instead, the cracking software computes the hash values for large numbers of possible passwords and compares the results to the hashed passwords in the stolen file. If any match, the hacker’s in. The first place these programs start is with known hash values for popular passwords.

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Be creative, but make sure you can remember how to rebuild your password when you get to a site. You can remember it. No need to write down your passwords or save them on a local or server-based hard Well , it’s only unique to a piece of hacking software—it’ll all be the same to you .

Regarding which one is best , I use 1 Password at home and LastPass at work. You say above that you think it is a good idea to use different passwords for different sites – do you have any suggestions for how to remember loads of different passwords ?

More savvy users who choose a less common password might still fall prey to what is called a “dictionary attack.” The cracking software tries each of the 171,000 words in the English dictionary. Then the program tries combined words (such as “qwertypassword”), doubled sequences (“qwertyqwerty”), and words followed by numbers (“qwerty123”).

Moving on to blind guessing

Only if the dictionary attack fails will the attacker reluctantly move to what is called a “brute-force attack,” guessing arbitrary sequences of numbers, letters and characters over and over until one matches.

Mathematics tells us that a longer password is less guessable than a shorter password. That’s true even if the shorter password is made from a larger set of possible characters.

For example, a six-character password made up of the 95 different symbols on a standard American keyboard yields 956, or 735 billion, possible combinations. That sounds like a lot, but a 10-character password made from only lowercase English characters yields 2610, 141 trillion, options. Of course, a 10-character password from the 95 symbols gives 9510, or 59 quintillion, possibilities.

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While making your password hard to guess is an essential security step, the most important thing about a password is how uniquely memorable As a free alternative, you could create an encrypted file on your computer with all of your passwords on it. That way, you 'll only have to remember one of

How to make a foolproof password . 1. Start with a sentence. Despite the “word” in “ password ,” it’s better to think of starting with multiple words. The steps above help when you 're creating one really strong password , but remembering a dozen or more such passwords might make your head spin.

That’s why some websites require passwords of certain lengths and with certain numbers of digits and special characters—they’re designed to thwart the most common dictionary and brute-force attacks. Given enough time and computing power, though, any password is crackable.

And in any case, humans are terrible at memorizing long, unpredictable sequences. We sometimes use mnemonics to help, like the way “Every Good Boy Does Fine” reminds us of the notes indicated by the lines on sheet music. They can also help us remember a password like “freQ!9tY!juNC,” which at first appears very mixed up.

Splitting the password into three chunks, “freQ!,” “9tY!” and “juNC,” reveals what might be remembered as three short, pronounceable words: “freak,” “ninety” and “junk.” People are better at memorizing passwords that can be chunked, either because they find meaning in the chunks or because they can more easily add their own meaning through mnemonics.

Don’t reuse passwords

Suppose we take all this advice to heart and resolve to make all our passwords at least 15 characters long and full of random numbers and letters. We invent clever mnemonic devices, commit a few of our favorites to memory, and start using those same passwords over and over on every website and application.

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At first, this might seem harmless enough. But password-thieving hackers are everywhere. Recently, big companies including Yahoo, Adobe and LinkedIn have all been breached. Each of these breaches revealed the usernames and passwords for hundreds of millions of accounts. Hackers know that people commonly reuse passwords, so a cracked password on one site could make the same person vulnerable on a different site.

Beyond the password

Not only do we need long, unpredictable passwords, but we need different passwords for every site and program we use. The average internet user has 19 different passwords. It’s easy to see why people write them down on sticky notes or just click the “I forgot my password” link.

Software can help! The job of password management software is to take care of generating and remembering unique, hard-to-crack passwords for each website and application.

Sometimes these programs themselves have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. And some websites block password managers from functioning. And of course, an attacker could peek at the keyboard as we type in our passwords.

Multi-factor authentication was invented to solve these problems. This involves a code sent to a mobile phone, a fingerprint scan or a special USB hardware token. However, even though users know the multi-factor authentication is probably safer, they worry it might be more inconvenient or difficult. To make it easier, sites like Authy.com provide straightforward guides for enabling multi-factor authentication on popular websites.

So no more excuses. Let’s put on our party hats and start changing those passwords. World Password Day would be a great time to ditch “qwerty” for good, try out a password manager and turn on multi-factor authentication. Once you’re done, go ahead and have that cake, because you’ll deserve it.

Megan Squire is professor of computing sciences at Elon University.

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