(also password, authentication)
A passphrase is a sequence of words or other text that authenticate a user or encrypt data. The term is a combination of the words “password” and “phrase.” It is like a password and has the same effect of protecting your private information. While a password is considered secure if it contains approximately 16 characters, a passphrase usually consists of even more characters. Usually, the passphrase is a series of random words or a grammatical sentence. It has a meaning to the user, so it’s easier to remember than a secure password, which usually consists of randomly generated characters and symbols. The passphrase is safer when the user combines letters with symbols or numbers. It can also generate an encryption key to encode and decode protected data.
- They are more secure. Considering that the passphrase is much longer than a password, it is less likely for someone else to guess it. Even though cybercriminals have their ways of finding a password, it’s almost impossible to crack that long of a phrase, especially when it contains capital letters, numbers, and symbols.
- They are easier to remember. Even though it may not seem logical initially, people tend to remember a few words much easier, rather than only 8 to 16 characters.
- Applications and OSs support passphrases. Many new applications, services, and operating systems accept passwords up to 100 characters, some even more than that.