Purpose of Lesson

Passwords are the way we access the majority of our information and online accounts. The passwords we use are often weak in a way that would allow hackers to guess them or we use the same password on multiple accounts. If one of those accounts is compromised, then our password to other sites is exposed. Best practices in password selection include selecting a different password for each account and ensuring that the password is sufficiently difficult for a hacker to guess or bruteforce attack. Using two-factor authentication (2FA) improves security significantly. 


The student will be able to:

  • Identify best practices in password selection.
  • Use a password manager for management of the multiple passwords.
  • Identify good and bad passwords.
  • Describe the advantages of using two-factor authentication
  • How Secure Is Your Password?

    Go to this website and do the following exercises:


    1. Try typing in a simple 6-character password with no capital letters, numbers, or special characters.
    2. Now type a 12 character password which is a mix of lowercase and capital letters.
    3. Add a number to your previous password.
    4. Add a special character ["!#%&"] to your password, above.

    Discuss with one of your colleagues how much more secure your password becomes once a special character is added to it.

    How to Pick a Good Password

    What is Wrong with Your Existing Password

    Examples of How Passwords are Stored on a Computer System

    password file

    Activity #1: Examining Some Password Managers

    Break into groups of 3 or 4 students. Pick one of the following password managers. Then register, install and USE the password manager.

    Password Managers:

    1. LastPass
    2. Dashlane
    3. KeePass
    4. Sticky Password
    5. 1Password
    6. RoboForm

    Questions Regarding Password Managers

    Answer the following in your notebook:

    1. Explain how each works and whether you would recommend it or not.
    2. Is there a mobile version?
    3. Does it cost money?
    4. What is it’s strengths / weaknesses?

    Activity #2: Use Python to Crack Passwords

    Download the password cracker and the three “encrypted” files:

    Then follow the instructions provided by your instructor.

    Assessment Questions

    Answer the following in your notebook:

    1. How am I currently vulnerable to password attacks?
    2. What can I do to make my passwords more secure?
    3. List steps you actually plan to use to increase the security of your password.