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Edward Snowden's advice for strong passwords

By CryptoWordsmith | Mixed Bag | 11 Jun 2020

Your password is often the first line of defense that is relied upon to protect your personal data. Unfortunately, it's also something that is not taken seriously by most people.

Here's some advice on how to create a strong password from an expert.

Who is Edward Snowden?

In 2013, Edward Snowden became one of the most famous whistleblowers in history. He revealed thousands of classified documents to journalists, who in turn exposed the widespread, covert, and illegal collection of personal information by the NSA. I'm not going to share his entire story, but it's fascinating, and worth learning about.

In 2015, he offered his advice on how to create strong passwords in an interview with John Oliver.


Some examples of weak passwords

Dörrhake Door  Lock

Image by Ingela Skullman from Pixabay 


Snowden revealed that a hacker with the right software can uncover a weak 8-character password in less than one second!

The following are some the worst passwords used in the world:

  • 12345
  • 123456
  • 123456789
  • test1
  • password
  • 12345678
  • zinch
  • g_czechout
  • asdf
  • qwerty
  • 1234567890
  • 1234567
  • Aa123456.
  • iloveyou
  • 1234
  • abc123
  • 111111
  • 123123
  • dubsmash
  • test

If your password is on this list, it's a good idea for you to change it as soon as possible!


How to create a strong password

Safe Vault  Steel Door

Image by Reimund Bertrams from Pixabay 


Tip #1

...shift your thinking from passwords to "pass-phrases", Edward Snowden, 2015


Tip #2

Think about a common phrase that works for you, Edward Snowden, 2015


Tip #3

...(pass-phrases should be) too long to brute force, and also make them unlikely to be in the dictionary, Edward Snowden, 2015


An example of a strong pass-phrase he provided was margretthatcheris110%SEXY

Yes, it checks all the boxes!

  • a memorable phrase
  • includes upper and lower case letters
  • includes numbers
  • includes a special character

My suggestion for improvement would be to include more than one special character to make your pass-phrase that much more difficult to crack.

I should mention that Snowden recommended the use of a password manager in 2019, but his advice on passwords is a good start to securing your personal data!


Tips for protecting your crypto

While a strong pass-phrase is vital, please also take a look at bitcoindelight's articles about securing your crypto assets (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). I appreciate the sharing of lessons learned.


Good luck and stay safe! Thanks for reading! And please offer bitcoindelight some sympathy if you can.  =)


Cover art by succo from Pixabay (cropped)

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Author ⌨ • Host of Blockchain Chat podcast 🎧📻⛓ • Early beta tester for NBA Top Shot & for NFL All Day 🏈 • Nine Lives Lounge member 🏀 • If I commented on your P0x post then you got a "like" and 100% of the tip! Twitter: @CryptoWordsmith

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