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Using Truly Secure Passwords: 6 Essential Reads

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Editor’s Note: The following is a summary of previously published articles.

Passwords are everywhere – and they present impossible puzzles. social media profile financial record personal correspondence And important work documents are all password protected. so that all information is safe The rule seems simple: passwords must be long. Different for every site, easy to remember, hard to guess, and never written down. But we are only human! What to do with our need for a secure password?

get good advice

Sadly, most of the password advice people have received over the past decade are wrong. And that’s partly because the real threat isn’t individual hackers aimed specifically at you. Written by five academics as part of the Carnegie Mellon University Password Research Group:

“Those trying to break into online accounts don’t just sit at their computer and make a few guesses…. [C]A computer program allows them to guess millions or billions in just a few hours…. [So] Users need to do more than just pick passwords that are hard for humans: passwords need to be hard for computers to understand.”

To help, those researchers developed a system that checks passwords when created by users. and provides immediate instructions on how to strengthen each password.

Use a password manager

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All of that processing power can also work for our benefit. Elon University computer scientist Megan Squire writes:

“The average internet user has 19 different passwords. It’s easy to see why people jot down notes or just click on links. ‘I forgot my password’ software can help! A password manager’s job is to take care of generating and remembering unique, strong passwords for each website and application.”

Sounds like a good start.

Get the emoji – 🐱💦🎆🎌 – in the show.

then again not using any regular characters may be better A group of emojis could improve security. Florian Schaub, an assistant professor of data and electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, writes:

“We found that emoji passwords consisting of six randomly selected emojis were the hardest to steal over a user’s shoulder. Other types of passwords, such as four or six emoji in one format. or four or six digits It will be easier to notice and remember correctly.”

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Still, emojis are like letters and numbers. which is retrieved from a limited library of options. Therefore, they run the risk of being guessed by powerful computers.


To add as much variety as possible to the mix Let’s create a quick doodle-like drawing to use as a password. Janne Lindqvist of Rutgers University calls that motion a “gesture” and is working on a system to do so:

“We explored the potential for people to use doodles instead of passwords on many websites. It seems that remembering many gestures It’s no more difficult than remembering different passwords for each site. It’s faster in fact: signing in with a gesture takes 2-6 seconds less than entering a text password. Creating a gesture is also faster than a password: people spend less time creating their credentials. 42 percent of people we studied had to create new passwords with gestures. We also found that people were able to successfully enter with gestures without as much attention as text-based passwords.”

Easier to do, quicker to enter, isn’t it harder to remember? that is progress

world without password

Any type of password is inherently risky. As heir to centuries of writing tradition, writes literary scholar Brian Lennon of Pennsylvania State University:

“[E]ven The strongest password … can be used anywhere and at any time when separated from a given user. For this reason, both security experts and knowledgeable users alike are calling for the abolition of password security altogether.”

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So what’s left? Characteristics about who we are as living beings.

unknown password

identifying people without depending on what they know But it may be the ultimate goal. This goes beyond fingerprint and retina scanning. Elon’s Squire explains:

“[A] A computer game similar to ‘Guitar Hero’ [can] Train your subconscious mind to learn different keystrokes. When musicians remember how to play music She didn’t need to think of individual notes or sequences. It has become so ingrained and practiced that it can be used as a password. But it’s almost impossible for even a musician to spell out note by note. or for the user to reveal one letter at a time.”

That might cause all passwords to disappear. And if you really yearn for the day of bolts, locks and keys you are not alone

Don’t let things be passwords.

User authentication using an electronic key is here. As Penn State-Altoona Information Science and Technology Professor Jungwoo Ryoo wrote:

“New safer methods are gaining popularity. And it’s like an old metal key. It is a small portable computer chip that makes it easy to carry. (It usually even has a hole for a keychain.) The chip itself has a method for self-authentication … and it has either a USB or wireless connection. So it can easily plug into any computer or communicate wirelessly with mobile devices.”

Don’t leave your keys on the table at home.

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