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Use the holy word of God to stay secure online, says bishop

What he opens no one can shut, what he shuts no one can open

A bishop in Blighty has suggested that passages from the Bible can be used to create memorable but hard to crack passwords.

The Right Reverend James Langstaff urged his congregation to stop using pets' name or stock phrases for login credentials in favour of passwords derived from passages in the New Testament.

"The Bible offers a life-long source of new passwords, that can include both upper and lower case letters and numbers to help create memorable, secure passwords," the Bishop of Rochester explained, adding that holy passwords would help believers to recall passages from the Good Book.

The bishop suggests users derive their passwords by selecting their favourite passages, taking the first letter from each word in the quote, and appending the chapter and verse from which it is derived.

For instance: "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" from Luke chapter 23 verse 46 would create the password FiyhIcmsL23V46.

Such a password would be far harder to randomly guess than most used today but perhaps not impossible. Passwords derived from Jules' monologue in Pulp Fiction, for example, might be popular.

"If someone knew that you were an active Christian, they might twig that you'll have chosen one of the more famous Bible quotes as the basis of your password," argues Graham Cluley, a security consultant at Sophos. "You can also imagine that if the bishop's password advice became popular, hackers would simply create a database of Bible quotes which they would use to break into your account."

Even better security could be achieved by using a made-up phrase to derive a password, Cluley suggests.

In either case users should still use different passwords on different websites to guard against the possibility that a breach against one site won't open up more sensitive accounts to attack. ®

Bootnote

The word "password" itself does not appear in the Bible, according to a not-exactly-conclusive search, which is perhaps just as well. Like most subjects the whole concept of secrecy can be either championed or lambasted by selective quotations from the bible.

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