Passphrases: How To Create Strong Passwords

Is there anything more frustrating than forgetting your password? Sure, it might only be a minor inconvenience at home. But at work, however, time spent changing and resetting passwords means time spent not working, and in business time is money. As IT professionals, Adept Solutions spends hours each week working with forgotten or incorrectly entered passwords. From our experience, it seems like forgotten passwords are inevitable.

Alphanumeric passwords have been the standard for a long time. The common practice for security was to do a long line of random characters that looks something like this: Al0i4#5*pKq2. While that is a pretty secure password, the average person is not going to remember it easily. Thus, it gets written down on a sticky note or piece of paper, which is a security risk. And if a person loses or misplaces their password, there is no clear reference point in which to remember it.

What are Passphrases?

Thankfully, there are ways to create secure passwords that are easy to remember, users just have to get creative. We have evolved from the time of random letters, numbers and symbols, and onto passphrases. A passphrase is a group of words or a sentence that make coherent sense to the user. The most common example of this is seen in temporary passwords for new users such as “ChangeMe!” or “Welcome1.” These are simple and easy to remember. For permanent logins, a passphrase can offer multiple advantages such as increased security, easier to remember, and versatility.

Creating a Passphrase

Take the following phrase, “I like cheese.” A passphrase for this could be made by using numbers and symbols.

IL1keCh33se                  1Lik3ch33se

Il1k3ch33se                    1L!k3Chee$3


As you can see, just one passphrase can create multiple possibilities while also being easy to remember. The advantage to this is that if you do forget exactly how you typed it out, you at least have an idea of where to start. When allowed, spaces are also a great and often unknown way to create secure logins, too.

At the very least, all users should change any default passwords and change all passwords on a regular basis. Passwords are what protect your data, and your data is your business.

For more information or help with login security, call Adept Solutions today – 530-751-5100!