Passwords Are Less Secure
Burr came up with the guidelines while he was an employee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, more than 14 years ago. Now, he admits that the piece of advice was ill-conceived in the first place.
This doesn’t mean that inserting special characters in a password won’t make it more secure. These passwords are very strong especially when hackers use computer programs to crack them. The real problem is that humans, in general, have a hard time in remembering random passwords. So, they usually create passwords that they can guess easily, but so can hackers.
When asked to create a secure password, most people write the first word that pops up in their minds and substitute random symbols for some letters. For example, 1 is substituted for L, 0 (zero) for O, and so on. Hackers, though, know the trick and they can try and guess the passwords too, sometimes with success. Ironically, the guidelines for more secure passwords made them less secure.
New Tech Could Save the Day
Fortunately, the guidelines are becoming more and more irrelevant as apps such as One Pass and LastPass can remember daunting passwords for you. You’ll only need to remember a master password to access a countless number of accounts. In a few years, these techs may be replaced by even more secure technologies that minimize human input.
Some tech firms now ban easy-to-guess passwords by default. For instance, Microsoft has compiled a database of never-to-use passwords and it bars users from using them automatically.
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