I want to spare you some of the pain that recently greeted me after a night out with friends. I returned to my car to find the rear window smashed out and my backpack gone. It contained my brand new MacBook and iPad.
The worry, of course, was whether my backpack was in the hands of tech-savvy crooks, so I prepared for the worst.
What I learned over a long weekend about my own approach to security is the subject of this week’s Kahney’s Korner.
As anyone who’s worked with technology in the past decade can tell you, the thorniest technical challenges aren’t typically those that deal directly with hardware and software. No, in most cases, the toughest things to troubleshoot and fix lie along the human spectrum. System administrators have long known this, coming up with acronyms like PEBCAK and ID-10T errors.
The same goes for security, which in Apple’s case affects an ever-increasing number of people who not be savvy to the ways of information security.
Apart from “correct horse battery staple,” the most secure passwords aren’t words, they’re phrases. You don’t even need crazy symbols or hard-to-determine numerals (is that an l or a 1, a 0 or an O?) – just a good, longish phrase made out of words.
And now you don’t even have to make one up. Using the XKPasswd generator, based on but not associated with Randall Munroe’s amazing comic strip XKCD, you can generate secure pass phrases easily.