Avast: Pop Culture Inspires Secure and Easy to Remember Passwords
Article by George Norman
On 31 May 2011
AVAST Software, the Prague-based company that specializes in the development of security software solutions for Windows, Mac and Linux, has an interesting post on its blog, post that gives users a few pointers on choosing a strong and easy to remember password.

In the post Avast says that it is definitely not a good idea to write your passwords down on a sticky note and put that note on the side of your monitor. I have to agree; what’s keeping someone who glances at your monitor from viewing the sticky note? No matter if the password is properly secure (not something like 123456 or password), the fact that it’s in plain sight means its not secure (anyone can view the password, then use it to access your stuff).

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The nice thing about the post is that it provides a fun way to come up with a password: use pop culture. For example, take the lyrics Rick Astley’s “Never gonna give you up” song:
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you.


If you take the first letter of evey word, you can come up with the following password: NggyuNglydNgraady. If you factor in the fact that the song was released back in 1987, you can come up with a password like Nggyu1987NglydNgraady.

Remember the diner scene from Pulp Fiction, when Honey Bunny and Pumpkin rob the place? A clip is available on YouTube here if you don’t remember. In the clip the two say the following:
Honey Bunny: I love you, Pumpkin.
Pumpkin: I love you, Honey Bunny.
Pumpkin: Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!


If take the “Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!” sentence and use the first letters, you can come up with the following password: Ebc,tiar!

Remember Grandmaster Flash‘s song The Message? Check it out on YouTube if you don’t. In the song Grandmaster Flash says: “Don’t push me ‘cuz I’m close to the edge.” You can use that sentence to come up with the password DpmcIctte, or the password 82DpmcIctte if you factor in the fact that the song was released in 1982.

“Maximum password security requires at least seven characters, a mix of upper and lower case, a few symbols, and a sense of humor. Whoever said security couldn’t be fun?” said Avast.

In related news, Sophos’ Graham Cluley has a video up on YouTube since 2009 in which he pretty much details the same technique for choosing a strong and easy to use password. View it here.



Tags: AVAST Software, Security, Sophos, Passwords
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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