four second warning

That password of yours: you know, the clever, eleven-letter one consisting of a word that is in no dictionary of any known language, plus some numbers, and which is also profoundly memorable to you — that Windows password, yes, that is protecting all your most intimate files — how long do you think it would take to crack?

About 30 seconds, you say? From a “public web page?”: You may be an optimist. Some passwords can be done in four seconds by this technique. But the moral is clear. A password without punctuation is worthless.

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2 Responses to four second warning

  1. qB says:

    Could this be another good reason to have a mac? Looks very like it.

  2. phlatfish says:

    I hesitate to teach the sucking of eggs but it is common knowledge that the use of ‘strong passwords’ is recommended.

    Strong Passwords:

    Is at least seven characters in length.
    Includes upper and lower case letters, numerals, symbols
    Has at least one symbol character in the second through sixth position
    Has at least four different characters in your password (no repeats)

    Looks like a sequence of random letters and numbers

    Make sure you:

    Don’t use ANY PART of your logon name for your password
    Don’t use any actual word or name in ANY language
    Don’t use numbers in place of similar letters
    Don’t reuse any portion of your old password
    Don’t use consecutive letters or numbers like “abcdefg” or “234567”
    Don’t use adjacent keys on your keyboard like “qwerty”

    Even so, if you have files that simply must not be compromised then encrypting them with PGP (free at is considered infallible.

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