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Passwords and Security

posted Oct 1, 2012, 1:55 PM by Michael Dreyfus-Pai   [ updated Mar 22, 2013, 12:44 PM ]
Today, we're going to go over what makes a password secure, and then go through the process of changing our own passwords.

First, read this comic about password strength.  It's kind of mathy, but you'll get the idea.

xkcd passwords

Read this one as well, about password reuse.

xkcd password reuse

The Third Way

There are three big ways that people can get your password.  The comics above cover two:
  1. Guess it using a lot of computer power.  This is called a brute force attack, and it's not very common for ordinary folks like us.
  2. Steal it...
    • from an existing database - a website you've signed up for that stores your password.  This is called hacking.
    • by tricking you into signing up for something.  This is called phishing.
The third is the MOST INSIDIOUS OF ALL!
3. You give it away to someone because you trust them.

This is one of the most common ways that people's passwords get passed around and cause harm!  Always keep your password secure from friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, BFFs, classmates, and students!
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