Make it Difficult For Hackers

Protect Your Singing Website.

Posted Under: Business

Here is is a simple and very effective trick to help you make really strong passwords for your user account on My Singing Lessons. There are two things that make a logon pass phrase difficult to crack. The first is that it must not contain any actual words or names: a strong pass phrase needs to be made up of random characters.

The second and most important is the number of characters. The more letters and/or numbers in a pass phrase, the better. If the bad guys are trying to guess your logon, or are using a computer to try and guess it, every extra letter in your phrase multiplies the time it takes them by about 70.

To give you an idea of why this is great news, let’s suppose the bad guys have access to a computer that can figure out a phrase of 8 characters in one second. To crack a 14 character phrase would take that same computer about 3,800 years.

So how do you make a long pass phrase, using random characters, that you can remember? Easy: just think of a little story and use the first character from each word. For example: Me and John used to climb the big old tree and watch Bob wash his car

That would give me this password: MaJutctbotawBwhc

That’s 17 random characters – and that is an extremely strong pass phrase. It doesn’t have to be a real story – just something that you can remember. You will find it surprisingly easy to commit a story like this to memory – especially if it relates to something you do, once did, or would like to do.

But there is one other thing we need. Many websites will insist that your pass phrase must contain a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Actually this does not make our pass phrase much stronger – but many websites insist on this.

You can easily satisfy the ‘upper case’ requirement by including one or more names in your story – John and Bob in the story above gives us a capital J and a capital B. Of course if you capitalise the first word of your story you also satisfy this requirement – but some websites might complain if the only capital letter is the first letter.

The easy way to satisfy the other requirements is to just add a number and a special character to the end (or the start). So we could just make our phrase like this:

MaJutctbotawBwhc#1

and those ‘strict’ websites will be happy.

Or we could revisit our story and make some changes.

When I was 8 me & John used to climb the big old tree and watch Bob wash his car

That would give us this password:

WIw8m&JutctbotawBwhc

And now we have everything the websites want: upper and lower case characters, a number and a special character. And because of it’s length, and the use of ‘random’ characters, this is an extremely strong pass phrase. The bad guys are going to be working a very long time to crack this.

(Note: please don’t use the phrases above yourself: these are ‘public knowledge’ – and that means they are on a list the bad guys use.)

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