What Does Passphrase Mean?

A passphrase, a portmanteau of the terms “password” and “phrase,” is a password composed of a sentence or combination of words. They are used to help memorize longer and more complex passwords. Ideally, they are easy to remember and have meaning to the user. By using a longer password such as a passphrase and adding complex characters like symbols, they are more secure and better protect private information.


Techopedia Explains Passphrase

The main use of a passphrase is so that a longer password than normal can be used, and users can still remember it with ease. It is common to replace a few letters with numbers or symbols for added security, such as replacing “a” with “@” or “o” with “0.” Oftentimes, a passphrase is used instead of a password manager to remember complex passwords and to avoid putting all of a user’s passwords in one place.

An example could be: “iponemadebyapple” can be turned into: “iPhonemadeby@pple2” which is even harder to crack.

The time it would take a computer to crack a simple password such as “iphone” is five seconds. Compared to this, a longer passphrase like “iponemadebyapple” would take 35 thousand years, and “iPhonemadeby@pple2” would take seven quadrillion years to crack.

A passphrase generator can be used to create a random combination of words and numbers.

A WPA2 or WPA passphrase is an encrypted password used for wireless networks and is common for routers and wireless printers.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…