Passwords and Security

Alot of my clients ask about security of their sites and their accounts.  I recently had the opportunity to attend WordCamp in Atlanta, which was development training for the WordPress software.  While there, I also took a general security class, as it’s important to remain up to date on new security trends as well as what the hackers are doing these days – since as developers we always have to be one step ahead of them.

One element of that class was password tricks.  By now, many of you know not to use “dictionary words” as your password, and many people use a word comprised of letters and numbers.  For example “Tr0ub4dor” (note we are using the zero as an “O” and the 4 as an “A”.  However the hackers have become much more sophisticated.  A password like that, while it looks complex, and undoubtedly may even be difficult for you to remember, can be hacked by an automatic program in just 3 days.

The new trend in passwords is to use a phrase.  For example, “CorrectHorseBatteryStaple”.   This looks silly of course, although it just may be silly enough for you to be able to remember it.  However a pass phrase such as that, takes the same automatic program 5 years to crack. Even longer if you throw in a number or special character, something like “BlueSource2WebStarfish” or “Normal@MediaRelief”.

Now it’s suggested that your “phrase” not be common.  For example, don’t use “NissanUltima” as it’s a common phrase, instead use “CarMy03BlueNissan”.

Hope this helps you remain more secure in your online lives!

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This morning you saved my message boards, some hacker had gotten in and you caught it and fixed it within minutes! … I can not thank you enough Josh, you’re the greatest… - Leo Laporte (Nationwide Radio and Television Journalist)
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