When I first had to remember a password it was short and easy, only one password for two or three applications. Today, I don't even know how many passwords I have to remember, I use a password manager but in many cases I find I still need to remember a few of them.
So how did I go about remembering passwords?
Some systems require me to change my password every so many months. I know about the issues with using the same password for more than one application/system etc. There's also the issue with using passwords that are made up from common words.
Password-cracking techniques have matured quickly and significantly in the past few decades and not to mention the power of today's computers have increased greatly making the brute force method easy.
The table below is calculated by assuming 100,000 encryption operations per second; this is a plausible number for a desktop PC today (mid 1990).
|PW Length||lower case letters only||letters and digits||mixed case letters||single case letters with digits, symbols and punctuation||all the displayable ASCII characters including mixed case letters|
Today we can laugh at the time periods in this table as today's computers have the power that we didn't even imagine back then.
Also, with most passwords being common words it is even easier to hack.
This is why I don't use passwords, I use passphrases!
A passphrase is a short sentence/quote/saying that's easy for you to remember.
So how do I come up with the passphrases I use?
I used abbreviations like "I love high school football in 2010" equals "Ilhsfi2010" as a password (I don't use it today).
It's ten characters long, using lower and upper case characters with some digits. The information above says it would take more than 45.8 millennia to crack.
It doesn't use common words but today it would be a lot easier to crack but many times harder than using common words or sayings.
Quotes are easy to remember and this is why I created a website to help people with creating a tough password to use everyday that is hard to crack.
What makes a good password? It's not a word in the dictionary, nor a name or date that people might guess. It's not too short, greater than eight characters, more is better, and you must remember it!
Remember do not use any number that is a matter of record, such as phone number, birthdate, address, driver license, Social Security numbers, etc. in your secure password!
BFR is a brute force rating I created to rating the strength of a password from a brute force attack, a higher number is generally a more secure password.
The BFR is a logarithm value with the next higher number being 1000 times greater than the lower number. A password length of eight characters will have a BFR of approximately five while a password with length of twelve characters will have a BFR of seven to eight depending on the non alpha characters used.
The lowest BFR in our list of quotes is a four while the highest BFR is sixty, a 100 character password. Compared this with common words which can have a BFR of two or less!
We recommend using a passphrase and having a password with the highest BFR that works for you.
Some notes about this website and the passwords displayed:
If you think this website is of value to your friends/contacts, let them know about passphrase.
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