Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall

Passwords again!

I wrote a blog post just before Christmas about different options for having a better password.

I wrote a blog post just before Christmas about different options for having a better password.

Passwords – When will we learn?
What do you know less than a month later there is a whole programme on it on Radio 4. You can listen to it here.

BBC Radio 4 – Money Box Live – How safe is your password?

It has some interesting tips, covering much the same ground as the article I wrote.One of the things that did stand out for me was at the very end where 2 things were said. They were:

  •   Don’t use a system.
  •    Write your passwords down.

Don’t use a system.

Now this was an interesting one as it goes against plenty of advice about inventing a “Hard” but easily memorable password. The argument was, that if anyone finds out your system then they will be able to work out your password.
This is true for some systems such as using the license plate of one of your previous vehicles (the number of vehicles that the average person has owned is quite small and so this is very easy and quick to crack), but if your system is a little more complex, such as the first letters of a line of poetry followed by a 2 digit number and a symbol, then it will be a lot harder to crack, and a lot longer (which again makes it harder to crack)

Write your passwords down

Funnily enough, even though this one is counter intuitive, I would quite agree with it and in fact do it myself for all but the most sensitive passwords.
The person on the show said that if you wrote the passwords down then anyone say in a book near your computer, then anyone getting access to your passwords would already have entered your house and presumable with physical access to your computer would be able to install all sorts of nefarious keyloggers etc.
Banks will frown on this practice, but most of them use 2 factor authentication. I would probably go so far as to say, if your bank is not using 2 factor authentication then
you should be moving bank!

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