We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Passphrase?

By Matthew F.
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A passphrase is a series of letters, characters, or words that can be combined like a password. They are used for many computer programs, to gain access to systems, data, or messages. It is similar to shorter passwords in use, but a passphrase can be as long as 100 characters and offer extra protection when needed. They can be used as a digital signature or to encrypt messages, and are often employed by important systems vulnerable to outside hackers.

Whereas a password is generally 4-16 characters, a passphrase is typically at least 20-40. The common passphrase should be known only to the user, should be long enough to remain difficult, hard to guess, easy to remember, and easy to type quickly and accurately. The passphrase should not be a common phrase or one from literature or culture. It should not be something with obvious meaning to the user or something that can be easily identified, even by people who know the user.

Different passphrases, just like different passwords, possess varying passphrase strengths. This is determined by the length of the phrase, the randomness of the phrase, and its use of characters available in the common lexicon. A phrase such as “IAmTheKingOfTheWorld” would not be good because it is not particularly original or uncommon. Replace the vowels with numbers, or a word with an anagram or a nonsensical string of words, and the phrase becomes more difficult. “I4m7heK1ng0fTheW0r1d,” for example, would be much more difficult.

A passphrase can be easy or difficult to remember, and can be written down. Certain passphrase are made of random groupings of numbers and letters, though a sense of structure makes them easier to remember. One method of formulating a passphrase is called Diceware. This tool is comprised of a list of 7776 short English words, and is determined by rolling dice. With a certain number of corresponding letters for each number on the die, different combinations of letters make different words. These different words can be combined into a phrase with more than 2,000,000,000,000,000,000 possibilities.

The modern idea of the passphrase was invented by Sigmund N. Porter in 1982 as a means of extra protection as computer systems began to enter mainstream culture. Pretty Good Privacy, a popular passphrase method, revolutionized the practice in 1991. Created by Phil Zimmerman in the United States, it was used to encrypt e-mails, and features a public and a private passphrase encryption key. A private key is used to open and send messages personally, and the public key of someone else is used to receive or send messages to them.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.