Passphrase, Passcode or Fingerprint: What’s Better?

Everywhere we go, passcodes or passphrases are needed. We need them to unlock our devices, game accounts, and banking. But, even these have become unnecessary, replaced by supposedly- improved validation processes. Continue reading to learn why passphrases and passcodes are better.

What Are Passphrases or Passcodes?

The majority of us use passphrases or passcodes for our email, smartphones, apps, and other services. They are a string of digits or characters, typically longer than an average password. So, if your password is IQAndroid, it may translate into lQ@ndroidOf2018!

It is easy to guess IQ Android, but changing the I into lowercase L, A into the @ symbol, adding the year and ending with a punctuation mark makes it more difficult to crack. The longer, the better.

What About These Other Methods?

While nothing is infallible, passcodes and passphrases are still the leaders.

PINs

We use Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) often. We use it to lock our smartphone or to pay by card. It may seem secure, since a four-digit number, containing numbers 0-9, has 10,000 possible combinations. However, a hacker can predict the actions of an everyday, average person. They learn many things about you, such as birthday, anniversary, or birthdates of children. Hackers also use a brute force attack. A program that systematically goes through a multi-digit system.

Passwords

Passwords are less secure than you may think. While they are preferable over PINs, a hacker who learns enough details about you can easily make an educated guess as to what you might use. They may buy information about you or search your social media presence or blog. Or, they could use a variation of a brute force attack known as a dictionary attack. If not immediately successful, the system may add years onto the end.

Worse yet, if a cybercriminal gains access to your email, they can go through other accounts you may have and click “Forgot Password” and reset them all.

Fingerprint

Apple introduced Touch ID in 2013 with their iPhone 5s as well as their iPads in 2014. Most saw this as a genius security measure because your fingerprint is unique. It would seem impossible for someone to copy your fingerprint. But, they can and they have.

Everywhere we go, we leave fatty fingerprint residue, especially our devices. In fact, we leave usable fingerprints on your smartphone, making Touch ID easier to crack than PINs.

Make Your Passphrase or Passcode More Secure

Long passphrases are best, such as Whitetigersarethebestanimal! Make it even more secure by adding numbers or symbols, such as Whitetigersarethebestanimalof2018!

That is easy to remember and more secure than a PIN or fingerprint.

 

 

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