Creating secure passwords and testing their quality

Trustworthy Twaddle

Article from Issue 143/2012

Create secure passwords with the help of a password generator and check for quality at the same time.

When choosing a password, your own first name is not a good choice, especially if it’s Michael or Jennifer: These names are among the 25 most often used credentials worldwide. Security specialist Mark Burnett has taken more than six million passwords and created a list ranking the most popular examples (see the “25 Most Used Passwords” box). Users especially like to use password and 123456 as passwords.

Just like the other items in the list, these passwords are fairly easy to remember – unfortunately, though, they are anything but secure, for several reasons: They are all too short, contain only lowercase letters or numbers, and use terms that can be found in any English dictionary. Because these 25 passwords are used extremely often, an invader only has to try them out one after the other. The chances of gaining access in this way are good, and no specialized cracking programs or a powerful computers are needed.

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