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How To Build Better Passwords
Posted By:jasmin On 8/2/2005

 

How To Build Better Passwords


What makes a better password! There are three major factors: length, complexity, and randomness. A good password will be combination of characters, means the password shouldnt appear in any form in any dictionary, quotations, or so on. Also shouldnt base on a simple substitutions or transpositions of words or phrases.

If you limit yourself to the lower-case letters of the English alphabet, each character in your password will have only 26 possible values. Simply allowing uppercase and lowercase letters means that each character in the password can have 52 different values. Add in numbers (0-9) and you have 62 possible values; add the punctuation and symbol characters and you have a total of about 92 unique (non-repeating) possible values. Clearly, using all the kinds of characters available to you significantly increases the complexity of a password.

Length is very important. A two-character password, where each character could be any of 92 possible values, affords just 8464 unique combinations. Three characters allow 778,688 possibilities; four yields 71,639,296, and so on. So clearly, longer passwords are better because the number of possible character combinations increases exponentially with length.

Good passwords are essential for PC security. Even the worlds strongest encryption algorithms or logon procedures wont protect you if you use the wrong kind of password Once we were safe, may not be today. Because of huge advances in hardware and software. Now the hackers have tools that can create thousands of guesses in seconds. Passwords that took months to crack can be cracked just in minutes.

The simplest form of attack is based on dictionary lists. The cracking software tries every possible word listed in an online dictionary. Any password found in the dictionary will thus soon be discovered. This kind of software is simple to create.  No deep study or skill is required. It can defeat many passwords!  Passwords based on quotes are easy to discover.

Its only a little more complicated for a hacker to cover the most common variations of words and phrases. Some people choose a phrase and then shift characters to the left and right, up and down from the typing direction. The result is balderdash, but It is an arrangement that a hacker tool can easily find out



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