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Think You’ve Got a Secure Password?

By:Christine Fettinger

Studies Show 90% of Passwords Are Vulnerable to Hacking – Use Passphrases Instead!

Long complicated passwords are often difficult to remember. So how do we address this issue? The term ‘passphrases’ is a technique used to compose strong lengthy passwords. Of course, registering for a new web portal or application leads to another password to remember. In the world of IT, one must have a laundry list of usernames and passwords to keep track of.

Thus, users are often inclined to write or save their passwords on documents. Writing down or saving your passwords is a dangerous practice. If such documents were compromised; they pose a serious security threat towards your IT.

When we hear the word password, most of us will unconsciously create an easy-to-remember password. We have enough to keep track of, let alone another password! It’s certainly easier to come up with words that are relevant to the purpose of the username and password. Longer passwords are harder to crack.

Brute force and dictionary attack techniques are common. For example, an 8-character password creates billions and trillions of possibilities. The recommended 14-character passphrase will lengthen the possibility and time required to crack a password.

Here are some passphrase examples:

  • Check out this amazing password!
  • EnterpriseITHelp4u
  • Where is the Cloud?
  • Seattle rains too much

As you’ve probably noticed, a passphrase is a lot more difficult to hack than a regular password. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Use passphrases whenever possible. Evaluate your environment to come up with long easy-to-remember passphrases.
  • If multi-factor authentication is available – you should use it. A popular multi-factor authentication example is mobile device verification.
  • Never use the same passphrase. We recommend that every website and application has different password schemes for each business role.

Interested in learning more about passphrases? Need help educating your employees on proper IT security best practices?

CyberStreams can help by scheduling regular IT meetings. Contact us at (425) 2_74-1121 or send us an email at sales@cyberstreams.com. CyberStreams is the top IT services company in Bellevue and Seattle.