A team of researchers has been conducting experiments into improving password security, using scientific methods so that such passwords are difficult for computers to guess.
The researchers found many users often subscribe to misconceptions, such as thinking that adding a number or punctuation mark to the end of their password will strengthen it. They also say their findings indicate it is more important for passwords to be longer instead of more complicated, while long passwords still tend to be predictable.
The researchers note providing feedback while people are creating new passwords can help significantly, and their password meter uses an artificial neural network to rate password strength based on analysis of other passwords.
Among the team's recommendations are making passwords at least 12 characters long, and mixing in at least two or three different types of characters in unpredictable places.
They also advise against reusing existing passwords for multiple, sensitive accounts.
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