Passwords are the key to the gate of your castle. This brief advice will help you create and remember passwords that will protect you.

orange_quote_marks_beginingYou must protect your personal information. This is the only way to survive, much less thrive, in the digital age.


"Last year, Ars Technica gave three experts a 16,000-entry encrypted password file, and asked them to break as many as possible. The winner got 90% of them, the loser 62% -- in a few hours. If there's any new news, it's that this kind of thing is getting easier faster than people think."   Bruce Schneier, security guru.


Passwords are a pain, but there is an approach that is both manageable and bearable. We learned it from the ultimate guru in cyber-security and cryptography expert Bruce Schneier. Take phrases, our favorite quotes, anything that can be called upon as a framework, like this;

  • Jmpn_JaK*Fla$h! - could be remembered by recalling the Rolling Stones song.

  • Inspirational words - "IWILL@sZtd" as "I will seize this day."

  • It's a fact that we need to teach our kids a technique for passwords that they can live with - This little piggy went to market might become "tlpWENT2m".

  • Ltime@go-inag~faaa! = Long time ago in a galaxy not far away at all.

  • uTVM,TPw55:utvm,tpwstillsecure = Until this very moment, these passwords were still secure.

Schneier continues with this advice;

   1. Never reuse a password you care about.  Even if you choose a secure password, the site it's for could leak it because of its own incompetence.  You don't want someone who gets your password for one application or site to be able to use it for another.
   2. Don't bother updating your password regularly.  Sites that require 90-day -- or whatever -- password upgrades do more harm than good.  Unless you think your password might be compromised, don't change it.
   3.  Beware the "secret question."  You don't want a backup system for when you forget your password to be easier to break than your password.  Really, it's smart to use a password manager.  Or to write your passwords down on a piece of paper and secure that piece of paper.
   4. One more piece of advice: if a  site offers two-factor authentication, seriously consider using it.  It's almost certainly a security improvement.
This essay previously appeared on BoingBoing.

When it comes to passwords, you can't get any better advice than this, special thanks to Bruce Schneier.
Thanks for reading,
Brad Deflin
Palm Beach, FL


Topics: Password Management

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