password strength

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Let’s evaluate the strength of one of your current passwords. Just because an attacker steals your password database does not mean he automatically knows your password. He still has to crack it. Creating a strong password can make it impractical for an attacker to crack your password.

Several password strength tools exist online. These tools can help you understand the differences between strong and weak passwords.

Directions

  1. Go to http://www.passwordmeter.com/
  2. Enter one of the passwords you use on a regular basis with a minor change.
  3. Click Submit.
  4. Take a screenshot.
  5. Take note of the problems with your password (e.g., a number sequence and a dictionary word).
  6. Try entering a password you might actually use that you think is strong.
  7. Take a screenshot of the results.
    Note: Weak passwords are typically easier to remember. However, it is possible to create a strong password that is fairly easy to remember.
  8. Go to http://rumkin.com/tools/password/passchk.php
  9. Click Submit several times and watch the passwords at the top of the page change. These are samples of good passwords that might be easy to remember.
  10. Take a screenshot.

Submit your Screenshots and answer the following questions:

  • Why do special characters (e.g., @#$%^&*) make passwords difficult to crack?
  • Why does a change of case help make a stronger password?
  • How did you choose the password you currently have?
  • Could others follow the same logic and choose a similar password?
  • Do you use the same password for multiple accounts? Why would this be a security risk?

Your well-written paper should meet the following requirements:

  • Be two to four pages in length
  • Contain an illustrative table or a diagram created from properly cited external references
  • Include two credible external references in addition to the textbook
  • Formatted according to APA writing guidelines.

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