Strong Password

What Does Strong Password Mean?

A strong password is a password that resists easy access by trial and guesswork. Many IT systems have requirements for strong passwords, where users may have to input more complicated passwords in order to prevent unauthorized access. Strong passwords can help to protect not only individual user accounts, but comprehensive hosted systems.

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Techopedia Explains Strong Password

There are many components in a strong password strategy. The most basic ones involve length and diversity. A longer password is inherently stronger because it contains more characters and there are more permutations involved. Adding a requirement for uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers or special symbols also makes passwords stronger. For a basic example, a generic four character password like "1234" could be easily guessed, and fraudulent users or hackers could use that to invade a system. A stronger password might involve the above approaches for a result like "1two34!" which is going to be much harder to guess.

Although strong passwords do help to protect systems, newer approaches are gaining popularity. One major example is biometrics. By adding biometric input, systems administrators can be more confident that they are only allowing the legitimate parties to access the system. Some IT administrators have also started adding more like channel approaches like out of band authentication, where various parts of passwords may be sent to different devices, for example, a laptop computer and a cell phone through different telecommunications networks.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.