Passwords Are The Air That Our Digital Persona Breathes…
We use passwords to secure our computers, mail accounts, social networks and more.
Some of us go the distance and use two-factor authentication with whichever applications will support it but how do we know if our passwords are strong?
For those of you still using 123456 or QWERTY or even Password as your passwords stop making me cry in despair.
For those of you using your children’s names, dates of birth or a combination thereof stop, just stop.
The fact is good security (digital or otherwise) is always one step behind the hackers, social engineers and criminals but you can still make it a bit tougher.
Many web apps will check your password for you when you register for strength but are they really using the most robust techniques?
Microsoft Research is here to help with their Telepathwords. The site allows you to safely type in your intended password and the predictive engine combines with a rather incredible rating mechanism at individual character level to tell you if your password is strong or not. On the way if Telepathwords detects a known weakness in your password it will explain what you are doing wrong
e.g. substitution of letters for equivalent special characters @ for a, $ for s etc. is a no-no. This technique which used to be considered strong is easy game for hackers
I was impressed and a bit surprised that some of my passwords weren’t as strong as I expected. (Yes, I’ve changed those now) and the name Telepathwords fits, it was as if the site was reading my mind as I typed!
The Warptest POV
I’ve recommended security solutions for your personal data, PC and even Android devices in the past. This is another and extremely important aspect of maintaining strong security. Your passwords are the last line of defense you have between an attacker and your personal data on your Smartphone, PC or in the cloud.
Microsoft Research features strongly here because of the amazing innovations they create. Telepathwords is another great tool to add to your box of tricks and gets a strong Warptest recommendation whatever Smartphone or Personal Computer you are using. Go there now and test out your passwords.
Let me know after you have tested it whether your results were as expected or not.
Remember passwords are like toothbrushes because both should be changed about every three months.