There are some basic rules to follow when selecting a password
. For example, while we're sure your significant other is a fine person, using their name as your password is a terrible idea. Same goes for your son's birthday. The object is to select a series of characters and symbols that's nigh impossible to guess, but it doesn't stop there.
Brute force attacks means that if your password is "JumpingTurtleBean," it can be cracked relatively easily. And get this -- the better your grammar, the easier it is to figure out your password, regardless of length! Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University came up with a rudimentary algorithm that makes easy work out of cracking long passwords with good grammar to prove the point.
Don't actually do this.
"A significant result of our work is that the strength of long passwords does not increase uniformly with length," the researchers wrote.
A full 10 percent of the long passwords the team tested were cracked with the simple algorithm and nothing else. This flies in the face of current thinking that longer passwords are better, which isn't necessarily the case. The reason is because the longer the password, the more likely a user is to choose words that are easier to remember, like a grammatically correct phrase.
Combine that with the fact that there are machines capable of making 33 billion password guesses per second and, well, it makes you think twice about your password (and about using good grammar).