You already know about passwords, but you might not have heard about passphrases. Simply put
- A password is usually composed of around 10 letters and symbols. They are usually random, for example: ‘SVP0RTTR3!’
- A passphrase is longer, containing spaces between words. They are usually random but readable, for example: ‘The fox ironing needs to be done by Shrove Tuesday’.
So, why should you think about using passphrases instead of passwords?
- Passphrases Are Easier to Remember
Passwords generally require a mix of letters and symbols, so they are often pretty random. The problem here is that they also tend to be very tough to remember. Unless you use a random password every day, they are easily forgotten. In contrast, a passphrase, though often nonsensical will be much easier to remember because they can at least be readable phrases. Which would you find easier to remember: ‘Antelope burns down the badger’s bright green car’ or ‘C@t2564!’?
- Passphrases Are Harder to Crack
Passwords are becoming progressively easier to crack. Even a password made of random letters, numbers, and symbols can be cracked relatively quickly because they are so short. But it gets much harder to crack anything that’s above 10 characters. Passphrases don’t provide ironclad security, but they are significantly less susceptible to most hacking attacks simply because they are so long.
- Passphrases Are Convenient for Different Sites and Platforms
Most people use the same password across multiple logins, which can cause serious security problems. This isn’t a habit you should get into, and it’s one much easier to avoid if you decide to use a passphrase instead of a password. Because passwords are so random and hard to remember, it’s more tempting to use the same one across multiple sites and platforms.
- Passphrases Are Easier to Generate
It’s usually a lot easier to come up with a memorable phrase rather than a memorable yet random set of letters, numbers, and symbols, so it should only take a second or two to think up a passphrase. This is helped by the fact that requirements are generally easier to fill. Symbols and numbers can be included more naturally in longer phrases, and you don’t need to fit everything into 10 characters.