Need a secure password? Ask this 11-year-old girl

Need a secure password? Ask this 11-year-old girl
Credit: Mira Modi / Diceware Passwords

With cyber attacks and data theft on the rise, it’s becoming increasingly important for people to use strong passwords that aren’t easy for hackers and computers to guess.

Sixth-grader Mira Modi can help you with that: she uses Diceware, a proven methodology to generate long passwords you can commit to memory easily. You can get your own by post for $2 a piece.

11-year-old Mira Modi hails from NYC and generates strong passwords for $2 a pop
Credit: Mira Modi / Diceware Passwords
11-year-old Mira Modi hails from NYC and generates strong passwords for $2 a pop

New York, are you ready?

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Most folks think they need complicated strings of characters that are hard to remember, but in reality, a bunch of random words like ‘CorrectHorseBatteryStaple‘ is easy to memorize and difficult to crack.

That’s because such passwords have a lot of entropy, or randomness that increases the time required for a computer to correctly guess them.

Diceware passwords are generated by rolling dice five times and noting each digit. The string of numbers corresponds to a word in the Diceware list, and Modi offers six-word passwords using this method.

Modi, the daughter of ProPublica journalist Julia Angwin, worked with her mother to generate Diceware passphrases as part of her research for the book Dragnet Nation. After selling a few of them while accompanying Angwin on book tours, she decided to begin taking orders through her website.

Should you trust the password she sends you? Modi says there’s only one copy of every password she delivers, and they “are sent by US Postal Mail which cannot be opened by the government without a search warrant.”

She also recommends making changes like capitalizing a few letters or introducing a symbol or two, to make it truly unique.

If you’re still using password123 across your Web accounts, now might be a good time to find some dice, or an extra $2.

This 11-year-old is selling cryptographically secure passwords for $2 each [Ars Technica]

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