Holy Password!! My Crap Is Too Weak!!

A fun time was had when we were kids by blocking a doorway, and only allowing a person to enter if they knew the password. Of course, the password often didn’t exist until someone actually wanted to go through the door; but that was half the fun of it. Passwords often arose on movies and TV, and there was even a TV game show called Password. As the game began, two contestants would face each other and one would try to get the other to guess the password. In preparation, the TV audience would get advance notice when a voice (unheard by the contestants) would softly say something like, “The password is hummingbird.”

Fast forward to the present, with things like online banking and social media, all of which require passwords. How many of us have been hacked on BookFace due to some sleazebag guessing our password? As much as I hate to admit it, I have fallen victim to a hacker on FacePage and had to come up with an “unhackable” password. I exclaimed to myself, “Holy Password!! My crap is weak!!” And of course nobody likes to pass weak crapwords.Well this past week I’ve been examining my other online passwords and found a couple websites that have free password strength testers. I’m a retired IT guy, so much to my dismay, several of my passwords were terrible in strength.

“The password is rutabaga.” (No not really, I was just having a silly memory of the Password game.)

There are several password checking sites out there… for example:

Bitwarden – https://bitwarden.com/password-strength/

PasswordMonster – https://www.passwordmonster.com/

So let’s use what might seem like a strong password, and have bitwarden check it for us. How about Sniffme01! Hey, it’s longer than 7 characters, has numbers and a “special character,” the exclamation point. Bitwarden says the strength is good, but the time to crack it is only 2 days!! I checked the same with PasswordMonster and they said it could be cracked in 3 hours. So obviously, all password checkers are not created equal.

OK, let’s try something longer… how about: YouReallySmellBad!!

Yep, that one is considered strong, and Bitwarden says the time to crack is 64 years, but PasswordMonster says 2 days!! I think I’m trusting PasswordMonster a little better than Bitwarden at this point. So being the lazy person I am, meaning I don’t wanna change my stinkin’ password every two days, I wanted to come up with something that took a really long time to crack. So I got a bit more creative with something like this: Wh@t_K1nd0fJ3rkWants2B_a_H@ckrr?? Yes!! Bitwarden says that one won’t get hacked for centuries, and PasswordMonster says a computer would take 106 billion trillion years to crack that one. And they even give your password a review. For that one, they said, “Fantastic, using that password makes you as secure as Fort Knox “

So the moral of the story is: don’t use common dictionary words for passwords. Be creative and mix up some numbers and special characters. And of course, keep track of them somewhere safe. I keep my passwords in a spreadsheet on my computer, That way I can copy and paste them into various sites without having to memorize all of them. And of course I do not use the same password at lots of different websites. That’s “bad juju” as a friend of mine used to say.

OK kids… password strength class is over. And now for something completely different.