In a recent episode for the cop dramedy “The Mysteries of Laura” , Detective Laura Diamond and her team are trying to break into a suspect’s computer to find some evidence. In the scene where they try to guess the suspect’s password, this happens:
You know what, Laura? We WILL judge. For a smart person in a position that requires situational awareness and critical thinking skills, why are you using such a TERRIBLE password?
Yes, the scene was played for comedy, and then her character goes on to have an epiphany about what the suspect’s password really was, making her character look heroic and smart once more, but this moment stuck with us.
And we hope it sticks with you!
Don’t be a lame-o. Don’t use stupid passwords. If you use passwords as bad as 1234 (or admin or 12345678 or anything equally obvious!), anyone can access your personal files. It doesn’t even require any hacking or cracking skills.
Don’t be security lame. Be security aware and use STRONG, SMART passwords. Better yet, use passphrases. Use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters in a NON-guessable string that is significant to you.
For example, Detective Laura Diamond might make up a password about her super cute boyfriend Tony the Baker. She could start there, replace some letters with numbers, and then maybe add a couple special characters for enthusiasm:
Or maybe she wants to use the fact that she’s a bad ass detective?
By the way: The suspect’s password ended up being the name of the woman he was in love with (and stalking). No numbers. No capitalization. No special characters. So easy to crack. Don’t be like the lame-o bad guy in a TV comedy. Don’t use the names of loved ones. That is too easy to guess!
We can also learn another password lesson from pop-culture with Grace and Frankie.
Take a look at some of your passwords. Which ones can you strengthen by turning into passphrases?