Sunday, May 27, 2018

Passwords, part two

So what do secure passwords look like and how might one conveniently create them?

Suppose that during your first year of college you shared a dorm room with three guys named Rick Harris, Steve Thurston and Javed Ghaffari. These are names and spellings that are etched into your memory until death but they are not easily connected with you.

They can be represented by the consonant strings rck hrrs, stv thrstn, jvd ghffri. Remember that we are trying to avoid vowels.

They lack length, Cap letters, numbers and special characters to be strong passowords.

Let me suggest some ways to fix that.

Rick's girlfriend lived in 270 Winchester Hall. Steve's was in 223 Remington Hall and Javed hung-out with his buddies in 338 Lapua Hall.

Rick Harris becomes 2"RcK7'hRrS0 (every other letter capitalized). 12 characters long.

Steve becomes 2/STV2:ThRSTn3; (letters after "O" in the alphabet capitalized). 14 characters long.

Javed becomes 3<jvd3>GHFFR8[ (first block of letters lower case, second block caps). 14 characters long.

Different strategies for capitalization were shown just to illustrate some possibilities. You would probably pick one strategy and use it for all of your passwords.

You would, of course, pick names from your own past as the basis for your secure passwords.

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