Friday, October 12, 2007

Strong passwords: my technique

My CIS 101 class and I had an interesting class today about the strength of passwords, and I revealed one of my secrets to creating a good password.

Do you remember mnemonic devices? These are the things like "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally", which helps you to remember the order of math operations (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication/Division, Addition/Subtraction). You can use those to create a secure password.

Let's say there is a song you like. I've always been a fan of a song called "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. If you were looking for a random password, you could even choose a line from a song that you will remember, and take the first character of each word. For example, this song has the following line in it:
I'm as free as a bird now, and this bird you can not change.
If you took the first letters, you would get the following as a password:
That's certainly random!

The only problem is that it only uses regular characters. To mix it up even more, you can throw a random number at the beginning, and keep the comma in the middle, and this password becomes nearly unbreakable:

Notice that I put the comma exactly where it appears in the lyrics, to avoid confusion.

Just a tip, and it's certainly more secure than using your first name!