Zo maak je de beste wachtwoorden (die je ook nog kunt onthouden)

Foto ANP/Koen van Weel

Social media, e-mail, internetbankieren: je gebruikt tegenwoordig overal wachtwoorden voor. Maar hoe ‘sterker’ je optie, des te moeilijker het wachtwoord te onthouden is. Bovendien zijn de meeste wachtwoorden alsnog makkelijk te kraken. Onderzoekers hebben nu een wel hele simpele oplossing.

Passwords often present a conundrum — the better they are, the harder they are to remember. And most people just end up choosing passwords they think are safe, but are pretty woefully easy to crack.

Fortunately for all of us, a pair of researchers say they have solved this problem — using poetry.

Marjan Ghazvininejad and Kevin Ghazvininejad, both of the University of Southern California, have published a paper that presents creating a poem from randomly selected words as an easy way to create a secure password, the Washington Post reports.

The researchers wanted to scientifically evaluate the common tactic of using random words, strung together in various fashions, to create a password. They checked simply using four random words, generating a random sentence, and other methods. But they found that, with regards to both security and ease of remembering, using a rhyming poem of random words was the best.

Rhymes have been used to help people remember things since the days of Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad, epic poems that would overwhelm a normal person’s memory without some sort of trick. The researchers tapped into this same line of thinking.

Here’s how Ghazvininejad and Knight’s system works.

First, they assign every word in the dictionary a code (all 327,868 of them). They then use a computer program to turn a randomly generated number into short phrases — while making sure these phrases always end in a rhyme. The program also constructs every phrase in “iambic tetrameter,” a type of poetry meter.

The program spits out passwords like:

Incited coolly nationwide

and also shipping countryside

or:

Imperial recruit complain

the diamonds area remain

or even:

The lurid marginal dismay

or pleasure stealing anyway

According to the researchers, these passwords are incredibly difficult to crack. Knight says that at current rates, breaking one would take five million years, according to the Washington Post.

You can try out the online generator for these passwords yourself here.

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