A 5-Minute Fix for Your Insecure Passwords

Twitter break-in shows how vulnerable weak passwords are, writes blogger for Slate
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2009 6:33 PM CDT
Using acronyms can help you create secure, memorable passwords.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The recent hacking debacle at Twitter proved how vulnerable the company was, writes Farhad Manjoo for Slate. All of its internal communication was held in email accounts protected only by insecure passwords. And chances are your password security is also terrible—a familiar word, like your favorite album, with a 1 or ! at the end or beginning as a requisite symbol or numeral.

Password-guessing software can see right through such methods. Manjoo suggests a better way to make easy-to-remember, secure passwords. Pick a phrase that’s easy to remember, such as “I like to eat bagels at the airport” and turn it into an acronym, with letters in the middle replaced with symbols or numbers: Ilteb@ta. This eliminates guessable English words from the password, and because it’s a mnemonic, there’s no need to keep it in your email. (Read more Twitter stories.)