Sentences Spell Security: Easy to Recall Passwords Prove Tougher to Crack

As this comic from xkcd demonstrates (click the link for a larger version at the source), we’ve spent decades teaching people to create passwords that can be broken by a CPU programmed to try enough combinations. 

But did you know a much tougher combination to crack might be as simple as a 4-word sentence? Logical to you, perhaps your favorite Philip Marlowe put-down, it’s unfathomable to the spambot in Moldova.

Literati, rejoice! The machines haven’t beaten us yet!

Hat tip: Gizmodo, where there’s more such theory in the comments if you’re interested. One commenter archly suggests the password phrase, “I only read Playboy for the interviews,” as difficult for a machine to defeat as it is for us to believe.


  1. Becky Hantsbarger

    My husband (who is an IT geek) says that his favorite password is “I don’t know.” That way, if anybody asks you for your password, you’re telling the truth. Or, as a second choice, “I don’t remember.”

  2. Clare 2e


  3. Neliza Drew

    I have to reset my HR password at work every time I have to log into the site because it forces us to use the silly example shown. My laptop password is a basic sentence in a language my husband doesn’t speak so no matter how many times I tell him, he can’t remember it. (However, he has a head for numbers so he’d remember the work one no problem.)

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