Potent Passwords

If you’ve been thinking about making your passwords a bit stronger, do it now. Passwords are becoming easier and easier to crack as computers become more and more powerful. Dictionary words and favourite song lyrics can easily be recognised. A strong password needs to avoid obvious patterns, be reasonably long and also memorable. The best way to achieve this is to create a passphrase using Diceware.

Even if you do go on to use a password manager (which we recommend), you’ll need a master password for that. So go ahead and do this for all your important passwords.

For this you will need

Step one: Decide how many words you want in your passphrase. Five is usually enough, use more words for extra security.

Step two: For each word you require for your passphrase, roll five dice once (or one die five times, five randomly-generated digits is what you need) and note down the five digits in the order they appear. You should get something like this.



Step three: Once you have five digits for each word of your passphrase, open the Diceware word list and look up the words which correspond to the numbers on your list.

11562 - algol
66234 - 1950
41244 - lump
11645 - almost
34351 - jan

Step four: Put the words together and check to see if it makes any sense as an English phrase.

algol 1950 lump almost jan

No? Good, move on to the next step.

Yes? Start again. (The chances of this happening are very, very small.)

Step five: Congratulations, you’ve just made your first Diceware passphrase! Go forth and do wonderful things with it.

Read More

+ The Diceware Passphrase Home Page

+ Password Strength, xkcd


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