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Password Generator

More About Passwords

According to Lexico online dictionary, password is a string of characters that allows access to a computer system or service.

Passwords, which sometimes is also called passcodes, have been used for thousands of years in different areas, especially in the military.

In the computer science field, back in 1961, the CTSS, one of the earliest time-sharing operating systems, was the first to introduce the use of passwords to access a computer system.

Nowadays, passwords are a part of our day-to-day lives, from our bank accounts to our streaming services, all of it depends on many passwords of all sorts. It secures our privacy, finances, personal photos, etc.

Everything that resides in the digital realm requires one or more passwords or codes to access, and keep it safe.

What makes a secure password

Usually, passwords that are easy to remember are also easy to guess, so it is single or combination of common words.

There are many strategies and tactics to both crack or discover passwords like combining dictionary words, substituting letters with numbers, testing known common passwords, even using personal information that is readily available on social networks.

Most of the security steps that experts suggest is to reduce the likeliness of that happening, among those measures, some of the most common are:

  • Enforce password changes periodically
  • Require a combination of different kinds of characters
  • Increase the size of the required passwords
  • Encourage not to reuse passwords
  • Encourage not to share passwords
  • Educate not to use personal information as part of passwords

But everything starts by choosing a secure password that would be very hard to guess and has no direct correlation with your personal details.

So a unique, long, random password, containing lowercase, uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols would be considered a secure and strong password.

FAQ

What are the most common passwords?

In a Times article from 2013, Google shares the most common passwords:

  1. Pet names
  2. A notable date, such as a wedding anniversary
  3. A family member’s birthday
  4. Your child’s name
  5. Another family member’s name
  6. Your birthplace
  7. A favorite holiday
  8. Something related to your favorite sports team
  9. The name of a significant other
  10. The word “Password”

Why should I not reuse passwords?

Even though it would be very convenient to have a single password for everything, and many people still do that, it is one of the unsafest things to do.

Because if that password gets compromised you would potentially lose access to everything that uses that particular password, by using a different password per application you reduce the blast radius of an eventual security breach.

How frequently should I change my passwords?

Some companies enforce strict police of password updates, some go to an extreme to require monthly changes!

Periodically changing passwords is a very well established best practice for some security experts, but for your personal life, you do not need to be that strict, with a schedule for password updates on all your accounts.

Even on a six-month cycle rate is almost impossible to keep track of everything we use passwords for these days, with the abundance of services, and websites available, so a good rule of thumb is to follow these cues:

  • If a company you use a service or application discloses a security breach
  • If you are informed that someone else tried to access your account
  • When you use public computers, like libraries, hotels, etc
  • For your most used applications, try to change at least once a year

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