How strong are your Passwords?

How strong are your passwords? – If you’re like many internet users the answer is “Not very”

Recently I was talking about backing up photos in the cloud.

My idea was to move on and review some cloud storage providers.

Problem was, I quickly realised how important security is.

There’s no point in uploading your photos to the cloud if they’re not secured by you.

And, many photographers are in the cloud already.

You’re in the cloud if:

  • you use a web based email service.
  • you have a website.

How many photographers happily upload photos to their site and leave them there for any casual passer by to stumble across?

And even if you back up your photos to external drives and so on – do you really want to leave them unsecured?

Photos need to be secured because of their value and maybe also because of their sensitive nature.

You don’t want to join all those public figures who lose their flash drives and laptops full of national secrets protected by no security at all.

So, once again, How strong are your passwords?

These are some of the problems?

  • How can you measure how strong a password is – what does strong mean here? 
  • How can you create strong passwords?
  • How can you remember strong passwords?

And here’s one of the main problems:

Strong passwords can be difficult to remember.

Let’s look at some password examples:

janedoe

Yes, you can use your own name!

123456

This is a popular one with people who know they need six figures.

kfcmpzjeguotbqmlhyod

This is 20 characters long so it’s stronger – but can you remember it?

howstrongareyourpasswords?

you can use a memorable phrase – the question mark is a plus point.

Pg4?,£ÚÕr®¬*?FEH6H9¾

This one is also 20 characters long – don’t be surprised if some online services reject it because they won’t accept the characters.

Pg4?,£ÚB1gÕr®¬*?FEH6H9¾

Notice the difference?

This one is padded it includes B1g

It is unlikely to be guessed and an online brute force attack might take 10.40 million trillion trillion centuries to crack it.

There is no one foolproof approach to password security no one answer to the question How strong are your passwords? but you can make sure that:

  • you have a strong password strategy
  • you have a method of creating strong passwords
  • you have a way of remembering your passwords.

If you want to check the underlying rationale for this have a look at How Big is your Haystack.

And when you’re ready, start using an online or offline password manager (or both)

I’ll give my thoughts on these in another post.

My picture this week is of the Santa Catalina Convent in Arequipa, Peru.

My picture of the Santa Catalina Convent is here.

This image is available from Alamy, Code: AR20F7

 

 

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