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Tech Tip Tuesday: Why Having a Complex Password Is Important

Since the dawn of the internet, it seems we have always been told to have strong passwords – that complex passwords are the only way to keep your data safe. Please create a password that is 8 characters long, and contains at least 3 of the following: a capitalized letter, a lowercase letter, a number, and a symbol. Oh, by the way, you need to change this password to a completely different one at least every 90 days – if not sooner. And make sure you can remember it – no sticky notes on your monitor or under your keyboard!

No problem, right?

Passwords length and complexity is a very important security measure, as it is an easy way to protect your digital data. Remembering complex passwords, however, can be nearly impossible – especially when you have to change them all the time. What if I told you that your passwords could be even more secure and much easier to remember than a randomly generated one?

Let me explain.

P@ssw0rd is an example of a password that meets all of the necessary requirements for password complexity. Looks pretty secure, right? ILoveStarbucksCoffee! is also an example of a password that meets all of the necessary complexity requirements. This one looks much less secure doesn’t it? Would it surprise you if I told you ILoveStarbucksCoffee! is actually much more secure?

Using a phrase is an easy way to create a password that can be more secure than a complex password, and can be very easily remembered. Consider this; it would only take a computer 9 hours to crack P@ssw0rd, but 176 Quintillion Years to crack ILoveStarbucksCoffee!. That is a considerable difference in data security! Feel free to test your password security level at the website

The next time you need to create a complex password, consider using a passphrase instead. It is much easier to remember and can be much more secure than your “standard” complex password. Feel free to use MacatawaTechnologiesIsAwesome! (cracked in only 5 Undecillion Years…).


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