Friday, December 18, 2009

MAKING VERY STRONG PASSWORDS


As some Microsoft Operating System geeks know, you can type many more characters than are on a standard keyboard by using the ALT+NUMPAD combination technique. For example, by holding down the ALT key, typing 234 on the number pad, then releasing ALT gives you the O character. I'm writing this article mostly because when I search around for information on the topic of ALT+Number key combos I find pages that are lacking in details. Most of the pages I found are coming from the angle of using ALT+NUMPAD combinations as shortcuts for typing in non-English languages, but I have another use for them. Using ALT+NUMPAD can make for some very ugly passwords to crack. These odd characters have two major advantages over normal keystrokes:


1. They are unlikely to be in someone's dictionary or brute force list. Try brute forcing a password like "ace of ?s" or "I am the a and the O".
2. Some hardware key loggers will not log these odd characters. Your mileage may vary on this as some key loggers can, so don't rely on it to keep you 100% safe.

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