Is Your Password Strong?

With the recent high profile Twitter account takeovers, Evernote hack and others now may be a good time to change your account passwords. Strong passwords play an important role in protecting your accounts. Now some of you might be saying “I have a strong password” so let us take a look at some passwords that may be strong.

The following passwords were submitted by the members of the ICMA:

Password 1: 89Blu3C@r
crack time: 6 days

Password 2: Accounting1
crack time: Instant

Password 3: the #10 saloon is closed
crack time: Centuries

Password 4: Tr@cking12
crack time: 5 minutes

Password 5: Th1$isR3pres3ntative%
crack time: 7 Days

Password 6: Charlie123F!
crack time: Instant

Password 7: T@by_1223
crack time: 26 days

These were all tested using Dropbox’s zxcvbn tester (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/209/zxcvbn/test/index.html). For more information on how this works and the impetus behind it follow this link (https://tech.dropbox.com/2012/04/zxcvbn-realistic-password-strength-estimation/).

Some tips for a more secure password:

1. More than 8 character
2. Include letters, numbers and special characters
3. Use more than one password for all of your accounts
4. Use a password checker:
a. zxcbn from DropBox(https://dl.dropbox.com/u/209/zxcvbn/test/index.html)

You now have a more secure password and are having trouble remembering it. I know I have a tough time remembering all of my passwords. So I have taken to using a password safe. My password safe of choice is KeePass (http://keepass.info/). It is a nice cross-platform program where you only have to remember a single password. If you are looking for a browser plugin try LastPass (https://lastpass.com). Have more suggestions let me know!

AJ Lemke, ICMA FLN Sub Committee, Web Developer, Digital Community Holdings