Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Share this free course

Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST)
Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST)

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2.2 Checking the strength of a password

This section is part of the amber and green pathways.

This image, depicting strength, shows two young men arm wrestling.
Figure 6

So you’ve learned to pick strong passwords that are easier to remember, to use different passwords for different organisations and to change them periodically.

When you create a new password you will sometimes see an indication of how weak or strong a password is. There are also apps that can help us to create and manage our passwords. We will look at these a little bit later, but let us start by getting some understanding of how to measure the strength of a password.

Construct an example password using the place name of the city, town or village where you live using only lower case letters – no capitals, spaces, dashes, and so on.

Test it using the password strength checker [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]  on the OpenLearn site and make a note of the score. Open the link in a new window so that you can refer back to it as you continue with this section. If you live in a place with a short name such as Ayr, just repeat the name a few times until you have met the minimum length requirement for the password checker.

Modify it into a very strong password using the technique for converting a phrase into a password that you learned earlier.

Think about why the security of the two passwords was different and what makes a very strong password. Things to consider include:

  • password length
  • the range of characters you used
  • whether any personal information is recognisable in your passwords (and could be guessed)
  • how easy or difficult it is for you to remember the new password.

Please complete Quick poll #7 now.

Open the poll in a new window or tab then come back here when you’re done.