'Strong' password pioneer now regrets his advice

- Creating hack-proof passwords for all your log-ins can be seriously stressful. But maybe it doesn't have to be that way. The way we've been trained to create passwords might be all wrong.

In fact, the original author of the best practices for passwords, Bill Burr, told the Wall Street Journal that he now regrets the advice he gave.

Paul Wagonseil, senior editor for security at Laptop Mag, said Burr pioneered using more than just letters in your password. He advised people to substitute some letters with punctuation and numbers and also use upper- and lower-case letters.

But the changes were so obvious hackers caught on quickly. That lead to the advice for multiple passwords for everything, driving users up the wall.

Burr's second idea was to change passwords every 90 days. Wagonseil said that hackers have cracked that code as well because many users would just change one letter or so.

What is working these days? Password protectors and two-step authentication programs. They cost about $40 a year. But the aggravation they can save is priceless.

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