USPS: Passphrases improve online security

Don’t do this.

Passwords are widely used to control access to online accounts, but they aren’t always secure.

Using powerful software that runs through millions of word and number combinations, thieves can easily decipher commonly used passwords in seconds.

For instance, it only took hackers one second to figure out 123456, a password used by more than 2.5 million users throughout the world, according to an ABC News report.

Similarly, eight-character words containing no special symbols or uppercase letters were also a piece of cake to decipher.

“Password,” a password used by more 360,000 users, was cracked in one second, the report noted.

Instead of passwords, experts recommend using passphrases that combine multiple words and are longer than 15 characters.

To create a passphrase, the CyberSafe at USPS team offers these tips:

• Select an easy to remember phrase, such as Be CyberSafe.

• Change specific letters into special characters or numbers to increase security: B3_Cyb3rS*f3.

• Next, add a unique identifier to further differentiate your passwords across your other accounts, B3_Cyb3rS*f3_w0^k)

USPS password policies are detailed in Handbook AS-805, Information Security.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue and LiteBlue pages have more cybersecurity best practices.

Source: USPS

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