Sane Password Strength Guidelines

April 10, 2015

I have had a growing frustration lately with passwords.  It is astounding how many large, reputable companies have password policies that are atrocious and lack any seeming sanity to them.  I believe in long passphrases and in password management software that can generate complex passwords.  It is extremely disappointing how frequently web sites will not accept good complex passwords, instead forcing users to choose a password that falls in a specific scope well below the bar for good security.

I just came across this article on realistic password strength estimation on the Dropbox tech blog.  The post is meaty and full of good details, but even if you don’t want the heavy stuff be sure to read the first few paragraphs.  If you are responsible for password policies for a web site or your own company’s IT systems take a minute to digest this material.  Hopefully it can help you move toward a better position on passwords.

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