Password vs Passphrase

What is a password?

What most people refer to as a password is typically composed of about 10 letters, numbers or symbols, or a combination of letter, numbers and symbols. Some examples of passwords are: "8c?0E,*J!qI/", "yourname", "P@55w0rd".

What is a passphrase?

A passphrase is longer than a password and can contain spaces in between words such as this: "Whatever you are, be a good one."

A passphrase can also contain symbols, and does not have to be a proper sentence or grammatically correct. The difference of the two is that passwords generally do not have spaces while passphrases have spaces and are longer than any random string of letters.

Why is a passphrase better than a password?

  1. Passphrases are easier to remember than a random of symbols and letters combined together. It would be easier to remember a phrase from your favorite song or your favorite quotation than to remember a short but complicated password.
  2. Passwords are relatively easy to guess or crack by both human and robots. The online criminals have also leveled up and developed state of the art hacking tools that are designed to crack even the most complicated password.
  3. Satisfies complex rules easily. The use of punctuation, upper and lower cases in Passphrases also meets the complexity requirements for passwords.
  4. Major OS and applications supports passphrase. All major OS including Windows, Linux and Mac allow pass-phrases of up to 127 characters long. Hence, you can opt for longer passphrases for maximum security.
  5. Passphrases are next to impossible to crack because most of the highly-efficient password cracking tools breaks down at around 10 characters. Hence, even the most advanced cracking tool won't be able to guess, brute-force or pre-compute these passphrases.

Some last tips, check to see if the phrase you will be choosing is not a common or popular quote or song. It should also be at least 12 characters long.

XKCD Password Strength