Safe passwords are an important part of computer security. But did you know that the guidelines for creating a secure password have changed? As part of Older Kids' learning about cybersecurity, they learned that the old way, with letters, numbers and symbols not only made for hard-to-remember passwords, but usually not very safe passwords either!
Short passwords are easy to crack by brute force: a computer running through all possible character combinations. Today's computers can guess an 8-character password in just a few minutes. And nobody can remember such random-seeming strings of characters. A bad combination—in fact, even the guy who came up with the old guidelines in the first place has apologized!
The new method prioritizes length, but in a way that's easier to remember. Use a short phrase, or a few random words that mean something to you (with capitalization, some special characters, and a number to work with systems that require the "old" guidelines). For example, either
is a far better password than "QW$x59ty". More secure and easier to remember... win/win!