Computer passwords are a double-edged sword.  If you make it too complicated, you’ll forget it.  On the other hand, if you make it too simple, it’s relatively easy for anyone in the world to crack, and data theft is extremely common.  In fact, it’s so common that most programs won’t let you have a short, simple password – they don’t want your data floating around the internet, either.

The worst case scenario are users that stop fighting the password cops, make up a really complicated password, and then write it on a post-it note next to their computer or store it in their email.  The IT department is satisfied because they aren’t responsible for your lost data.  But it’s still up for grabs, by anyone who walks in the office and reads the post-it note.

One of the best solutions is a password manager – a highly-secure program that stores all of your passwords.  If you can remember how to get into your password manager, your passwords are all stored in one secure place.  But if you don’t want to use a password manager, or you worry you won’t always have access to it when you need it, another great option is a passphrase.

A passphrase is exactly what it sounds like – a phrase that you use instead of a series of characters and punctuation you’ll probably forget.  Simply pick a phrase that isn’t commonly used, and type it in the password box like you would type the phrase in any other program.  Here are a couple of examples:

● My favorite people are Jacob and Jennifer.

● I’m looking forward to Carolina Beach!

Because they have spaces capital letters and punctuation, they meet password requirements.  Because they are long, they are very hard to crack.  If they aren’t common, they can’t easily be guessed, and since it’s a sentence it’s easy to remember.  While a passphrase can take a bit longer to type than a normal password, they have few other drawbacks.  If you’re frustrated with your current password system, give passphrases a try and see if they make life easier!

To learn about how WingSwept can help your business make better use of technology to achieve its goals, call us at 919.779.0954 or email us at