If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you are aware that the internet is essentially the Wild West. Hackers and career criminals take advantage of computer users by extorting them for ransom and forcing them to pay in bitcoin. Like in the real world, criminals can attack when you least expect it. But just like in the real world you can become more precautious, gain some spacial awareness, and make yourself safe when surfing and working on the web.
Passphrases and Passwords
For most average people, the weakest link in their security is simply their password. In 2022 the phrase “password” is even a bit of a misnomer. It’s much better and much safer to use passphrases. There are a few strategies to write good passphrases that I recommend.
Start by choosing a few of your favorite things. For example, I will start with my favorite band, Guided by Voices. I will also use one of my favorite songs from them, like “Echos Myron.” Take some words from each of your sources, and mix them up with maybe some significant numbers for you.
Breaking It Down
This password is constructed of the third word from the name of the band, a license plate number for a car, the second word from the song title, part of a phone number, and a standout term from the song. Since you built this phrase yourself, you should be able to remember it quickly, and you now have a 28-character password!
Passphrases improve your password security by helping you remember a long string of characters that don't make sense to anyone else. If you build all of your passphrases like this, your passwords will be nearly impossible for another human to guess.
You can take it further by substituting letters or numbers for symbols. For example, in the password above, you can replace all the ‘i’ characters with the ‘!’ symbol. This will break most of the dictionary words in your password, making it even more impenetrable and easy to remember!
Our password manager, TeamPassword, offers a password generation tool with options to specify password length and character sets. This makes it easy to generate and save secure passwords for any service you use. Additionally, TeamPassword encrypts all passwords with a master key you set before sending them to their servers, so no one can read them unless they have your master key.
See how well that works? And it’s simple. Have fun updating your passwords, and remember to change them frequently!