When you set up an account on any secure website, you'veprobably seen instructions on how to create a password, similar tothese:

  • Your password must be alphanumeric.
  • It must be more than/not less than X number of characters.
  • It must include/must not include special characters (with alist or examples).
  • It must include at least one number and one capitalletter.
  • It cannot be any of your last five passwords.

The rules by which passwords are created have grown so much morecomplex that many companies have emerged whose main product ispassword management, generating supposedly unbreakable ones withdiffering combinations of letters, numbers and special characters.Of course, they are locked away in a master vault behind yetanother password.

The obvious weaknesses of protecting a vault of passwords with apassword should go without saying, which is one reason why manycompanies, including Apple, have moved into the biometric arena.Fingerprints or retina scans are next on the list of securitybarriers to our ever-growing data needs. Yet hackers continue tosuccessfully traverse erven the tightest security measures.

Consider one of the recent, more public, hacks that happenedlast November when Sony Pictures was breached and confidentialpersonal data belonging to Sony Pictures Entertainment employeesand their families—among others—were disclosed in an attempt toforce the company to cancel the planned release of the film,The Interview. The attack, allegedly by North Korea, was ahuge affront to our freedom of speech, but happened because Sony,and almost everyone else, continues to rely on birth dates andpet's names to protect this valuable information.

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