Password Panic


Seems like my Twitter password, along with 250,000 others has been stolen. Well, not the password as such, but the encrypted version that Twitter store. This is probably not a huge problem for me. When I give my password to Twitter they pass it through a “one way” algorithm that turns it into meaningless gibberish. The idea is that it is very hard (or hopefully impossible) to take the gibberish and turn it back into the super secret phrase that I dreamt up all that time ago.

For me the biggest problem now is that I have to think up a new password. I’ve found that the best way to invent passwords is to think about them a long way away from the computer, maybe when you are doing the vacuuming, and then type them in later. If you can’t remember the password that you thought up a little while ago when doing the living room carpet it is probably not a good choice after all. My present approach, which works for me when a site will let me do it, is to run a bunch of words together. Perhaps “runabunchofwordstogether” would actually make quite a good password. Perhaps not. Anyhoo, I’ve changed my password and can now resume life.

The thing that really worries me about password breaches like this is that they provide a good context for these nasty “Your account has been compromised” emails that spammers send out to try and trick you into logging in to fix your account. Then again, that might be why the steal the names in the first place.