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
- One or more dice
- The Diceware word list [direct link to PDF]
- A piece of paper and a pen
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.
11562 66234 41244 11645 34351
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.
+ Password Strength, xkcd