How Long Is Your Computer Security Password?

How Long Is Your Computer Security Password?

Gregory Han
Jan 21, 2010

How timely we catch the post from the New York Times tech blog about computer passwords and the lack of security on most people's computers. One of our own contributors found themselves on the other end of the spectrum this morning: totally locked out from making changes because they forgot their admin password. But most people have extremely simple passwords...too simple and too easy to guess. Are you secure enough?

The New York Times tech blog piece mentions the most popular password is the obvious "123456". If this is currently your own password, this might be a good incentive to change out your password to something new and more secure. Just not "password", "monkey", "lovely", "iloveyou" or any of the other popular passwords shown on the left.

Our own password is a 17 character string of letters and numbers (we've been tempted to boost it up to 24), giving us a fair amount of security. But we still regularly change it out or remix it for security purposes. What we have is 4-5 passwords that we use in combination with one another to string together larger, more complex passwords. So an easy to remember 6 character password can be bolstered by the addition of another 12 character password, then switched out later by another 10 character password. The challenge is building a short list of passwords to use and remember. Everyone has their own way of remembering passwords (alongside software solutions such as 1Password), but we still like managing it ourselves this way. How about yourselves...any tricks or solutions you've got for keeping your password(s) safe?

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