A CDE Definition
A password that is hard to detect both by humans and by the computer. Two things make a password stronger: (1) a larger number of characters, and (2) mixing numeric digits, upper and lower case letters and special characters ($, #, etc.). See password.
A secret word or code used to serve as a security measure against unauthorized access to data. It may be used to log onto a computer, network or website or to activate newly installed software in the computer. However, without additional measures such as biometric identification, the computer can only verify the legitimacy of the password, not the legitimacy of the user (see biometrics).
Password, Passphrase, Passcode and Key
The terms "passphrase," "passcode" and "key" are synonyms for password. They all provide an identity mechanism; however, passwords, passphrases and passcodes tend to be user generated. A key usually refers to a code generated by an encryption system or by the vendor of the software the user purchased. See password manager, public key cryptography and NCSC.
Password Tips from the NCSC
CHANGE PASSWORD FREQUENTLY - The longer you use a password, the higher the risk.
USE GOOD PASSWORDS - Don't use persons, places or things that can be identified with you.
DON'T DISCLOSE YOUR PASSWORD - Your password is as valuable as the information it protects.
INSPECT YOUR DATA - If you suspect someone has tampered with your files, report it immediately.
NEVER LEAVE AN ACTIVE TERMINAL UNATTENDED - Always log out or lock your terminal before leaving it.
REPORT SUSPECTED COMPUTER ABUSE - Whether directed against you or not, abuse or misuse of your computer resources only hinders the timely completion of your tasks.
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Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.