October is here, and so is another Cybersecurity Awareness month! #BeCyberSmart

There’s a great illustration from XKCD that explains why a longer simple password is stronger than a shorter complex one. Based on current breach data, most people still use passwords that are only as long as the minimum length required. You can upgrade your security game by adopting passphrases for your logins.

For memorability, think about the things you are interested in or enjoy. A Beatles fan might want to use “TheBeatles” as their password, but modern length requirements are usually 12-14 characters, so the fan would have to add something to it, perhaps like “TheBeatles21”. If the system enforces complexity requirements, it might end up something like “TheBeatles21!”.

The same fan could use “AllYouNeedIsLove” which is a stronger passphrase than “TheBeatles21!”. The longer your passphrase, the less complex it needs to be. Unfortunately, many systems will still require you to submit complex passphrases, so “AllYouNeedIs1Love!” would be a way to satisfy the requirements while still creating something pretty memorable.

A fan of the artist Michalopoulos might use “BackBay-2-theBayou”. New England Patriots fans could use “Gillette=KraftKingdom”, and so on. You may still need to put some thought into it to avoid passphrases that would be easily guessable to those who know you in real life. “MountainDay21” is less personalized (and therefore less secure) than “I<3MountainDay20” or “CantWait4MtnDay2022!”

Please consider using a longer and more memorable passphrase here at Williams and for your personal accounts too (but never reuse passphrases among multiple accounts). Do your part, #BeCyberSmart!

More Informationhttps://staysafeonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Own-Your-Role-in-Cybersecurity_-Start-with-the-Basics-.pdf


Disclaimer: Please don’t use any passphrases posted here for your accounts…they are examples only and should not be used because they have been shared here.