Passwords are part of our everyday lives whether we like it or not. Along with them, we get the constant concerns about choosing, remembering, associating them with websites and applications, and last but not least, protecting them. With our increased reliance on internet and devices for everyday activities, passwords hold the key to our lives – protecting intimate personal details and private communications, job-related confidential information, our social habits, our finances. In the online world, passwords protect who we are. That is why passwords are important, and acute care needs to be put into keeping them safe.
Decision #1: Strong, or easy to remember?
In theory, all passwords can be cracked, given enough time and processing power. The frightening fact is that the overwhelming majority are crackable in under 6 hours using a standard PC (according to a study conducted by Meldium). Thus, most applications and websites enforce password complexity policies to protect their users. However, the longer and more complicated a password is, the harder it is to remember it. Forgetting passwords is frustrating, and password recovery is a cumbersome process if it has to be carried out often. Which brings us to the first important decision to make, when choosing a password: how long and complex should it be? We looked at studies conducted by teams of psychologists and engineers to find out: