What’s the passphrase?

To prevent hacking, we are often prompted to create “strong” passwords, which may include a numeric figure or symbol. But, have you ever considered going a step farther and using a passphrase? According to a SANS Institute newsletter, passphrases are, “Phrases or simple sentences that are easy to remember, but hard to hack.” The example given is, “Where is King Julian?” It includes a symbol and capitals – and is likely a passphrase a hacker wouldn’t guess!

The newsletter goes on to explain how you can use passphrases securely:

  • Vary your passphrases and do not use the same one for each account. If one account is hacked, you don’t want all your accounts to become vulnerable.
  • Consider using a password manager to keep track of passphrases for each account. A different passphrase for each account is a lot to remember – a password manager will help you stay organized.
  • Never share your passphrases or strategy for creating them with others. If you fear that a passphrase has been compromised change it immediately.
  • Similar to a passwords, do not use easy-to-guess or common phrases like, “this is my password.”
  • Even if you secured your profile with a strong passphrase you can still open yourself up to a cyberattack when using a public computer. If you’re on a network that isn’t secure, never login to your personal accounts.

Here’s the link to the entire SANS Newsletter detailing the above: Passphrases. Check back next month for another post offering cyber security tips!

Nathan Boxx, Bradley Newman, Jason Seltzer

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