Stop Using Easy To Decode Passwords FBI Warns

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If you have been using the exact same passwords for years now, it’s time to reevaluate your internet activities and make this simple change towards a safer life.

The Protected Voices

The FBI recently launched the Protected Voices – an initiative to help protect people from online “foreign influence” operations together with cybersecurity threats as cybercriminals are plenty and even smartphones can be threatening. Combining inputs from FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Department of Homeland Security, it’s a cornucopia of advice and guidance on everything ranging from incident response to social engineering. Even if the information is designed for political campaigns, the guidance conducted is applicable to a much bigger audience. Inspired from that initiative is something called the FBI Portland Tech Tuesday report and the present suggests a way to replace passwords that many individuals utilize to safeguard everything from mobile devices to laptops and banking to email. To simply say it, the FBI encourages you to refrain from utilizing passwords and do this alternative instead.

Stop using easy to decode passwords

Basically, the FBI wants people to abandon and stop using those passwords that are easy to remember and quick to decode, as well as complicated combinations of special characters, numbers, and cases that are difficult to memorize and recall. According to FBI, password length is more essential compared to password complexity. Rather than utilizing more complex and shorter passwords, opt for lengthy passphrase instead. A passphrase as substitute to complicated password is not specifically a brand-new security concept; however it is a smart one. Moreover, the fact that the FBI and the National Institute of Standards and Technology is recommending it only proves that it is a good and well-thought alternative.

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Complex keyword combinations

But where did the idea behind length beating complexity came from? You probably wouldn’t believe this but it is actually coined from the cartoon entitled “Correct Horse Battery Staple.” If you haven’t seen this show, do yourself a favor and watch it. It simply explains why passphrase is hard to guess yet difficult to decode, while also ensuring that it is faster for you to recall. Basically, even if M5ly*m$dJ56Tl$kwfuKL93 is definitely harder for a potential attacker to guess or decode using brute-force attack techniques, it’s impossible to recall.

On the other hand, “AmazingGreenParkaJacket” is just the similar length yet it is less complicated and much easier to remember. On top of everything, criminals will have a difficult time cracking it. The trick here is to utilize unrelated terms and merge them into something that you can easily visualize, instead of related terms that are easy to decode just like a phrase. Ideally, the FBI highly-suggests utilizing passphrases that have a minimum of 15 characters, much better if you expand it to 25 characters.

If you find yourself having a hard time finding a suitable passphrase to use, you can check out an online passphrase generator that utilizes XKCD technique. It comes with user parameter options like separator options and word capitalization that can give you random phrases to make the whole procedure faster and easier.