In a TEDxCMU talk, Lorrie Faith Cranor — a computer science and engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University — discusses some of her observations about people and passwords.
Among her research findings: when it comes to symbols, there were only a small number that people were actually using in their passwords.
She closes the talk by saying: “It seems that at the end of the day when we make passwords we either make something that’s really easy to type… or things that remind us of the word password or the account that we’ve created the password for, or whatever. Or we think about things that make us happy and we create our password based on things that make us happy.”
“And while this makes typing and remembering your password more fun, it also makes it a lot easier to guess your password,” she said. “So I know a lot of these TED Talks are inspirational and they make you think about nice happy things, but when you’re creating your password, try to think about something else.”