Passwords and Combination Locks

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@DWDavis (11146)
Pikeville, North Carolina
March 15, 2017 7:27pm CST
Today in class we were talking about determining the number of possible outcomes in Compound Events. Two of the examples we used were combination locks and computer passwords. Computer passwords and combination locks have a lot in common. The purpose of both is to keep things safe from prying eyes and those with larcenous intent. How they work is also similar. Just like a combination lock requires the input of specific numbers in a certain sequence, a password requires the input of specific characters in a certain sequence. This comparison seemed to work well for the students. They use a combination lock every day when they visit their lockers. They use passwords every day when they log onto the computers. What impressed them most was the total number of combinations were possible for their locks (64,000), and the number of passwords there can be for an 8 character password with Capital Letters and the digits 0-9 (2.8 Trillion). We then discussed how long it would take a hacker with a program that tested 600 possible passwords a minute to crack such a password. It would take the program almost 9,000 years to try all the possible passwords. Have you ever given a thought to how many possible passwords there could be for the different apps you have to log into?
11 people like this
9 responses
@andriaperry (33111)
• Anniston, Alabama
16 Mar
No I have not.
3 people like this
@DWDavis (11146)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
16 Mar
It is a lot to try and get your mind around. The only other thing I know of that measures in the trillions in the national debt.
2 people like this
@katsmeow1213 (28925)
• United States
16 Mar
Now a lot of apps are requiring a special character! Now estimate how many times I try the wrong password each time I log into something where the password isn't saved.. LOL
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@DWDavis (11146)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
16 Mar
I ran into that this morning. I couldn't remember the password I'd used on my new teacher laptop the school assigned me. I tried 3 wrong guesses before I stumbled on the right one.
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• United States
16 Mar
@DWDavis Lucky you were given so many chances. Normally I'll stop after the 2nd wrong guess as I don't want to get locked out.
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@DWDavis (11146)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
16 Mar
@katsmeow1213 I'm not sure how many more guesses I would have been allowed, but it was first thing in the morning and I wasn't going to give up.
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@LeaPea2417 (15310)
• Toccoa, Georgia
16 Mar
I have thought about it and it is amazing to think the high number that can be made.
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@DWDavis (11146)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
16 Mar
We applied the Fundamental Accounting Principle to a restaurant menu today and the students were amazed at how many choices most restaurants actually offer.
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@LeaPea2417 (15310)
• Toccoa, Georgia
16 Mar
@DWDavis That is very interesting.
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@Ronrybs (7133)
• London, England
16 Mar
I like mixing letters, symbols and numbers in passwords, but I am never really sure how secure they are
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@DWDavis (11146)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
16 Mar
For most purposes, I think an 8 character password using upper and lower case letters, the numbers 0-9, and a handful of special characters should be secure enough.
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@Ronrybs (7133)
• London, England
16 Mar
@DWDavis If the site allows longer passwords, I make them long. For some reason I find them easier to remember
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16 Mar
Are these 2.8 trillion combinations using just the English alphabet, or using all alphabets?!
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@DWDavis (11146)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
16 Mar
That was just with the English alphabet.
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@JudyEv (100918)
• Bunbury, Australia
16 Mar
I think it would blow my mind to even think about it! :)
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@DWDavis (11146)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
16 Mar
I never expected it to be in the trillions when I started planning the lesson.
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@Tampa_girl7 (21650)
• United States
16 Mar
The thought is mind boggling
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@DWDavis (11146)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
16 Mar
I never thought much about it until I prepared this lesson. The amazing thing is, hackers still somehow get through.
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@LoriAMoore (9987)
• United States
16 Mar
Yes, it's a HUGE number. By the way, and this is a bit of a sidebar, have you seen the new combination locks that work on letters rather than numbers? I'm more of a word person, so I think I would have a better chance of remembering the combination that way.
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@DWDavis (11146)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
17 Mar
I have seen the locks with the letters but I haven't tried one.
@TRBRocks420 (62182)
• Banks, Oregon
16 Mar
I try to use the same password, because when I don't I will forget the one I barley use.
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@DWDavis (11146)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
16 Mar
There are some sites I use once a year, like FAFSA for my son, that require special passwords with letters, numbers, special characters, caps, and lower case, that I have to keep in the file with the printed out forms or I have to go through the rigamarole of recovering and changing it.
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