While passwords and passphrases essentially serve the same purpose – providing access to secure services or sensitive information – passwords are generally short, hard to remember and easier to crack.  Passphrases are easier to remember and type. They are considered more secure due to the overall length of the passphrase and the fact that it shouldn’t need to be written down.  Here are some tips for creating a good passphrase: 

  • Make up a sentence or a phrase that includes a combination of upper and lower case letters, special characters and punctuation.
  • Include some memorable “encoding” in the phrase.  For example, “Iowa winters are cold”  would not be an acceptable passphrase, as it does not include two special characters or numbers.  But “Iowa w1nters are c0ld!” meets minimum complexity requirements in addition to having a secure length of nine or more characters. 
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Last updated: 
May 19, 2016