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End Password Fatigue! 3 Research-Based Strategies For Strong, Unique and Memorable Passwords

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 122B

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Insightful and dynamic leader, with over 20 years of experience as a teacher, high school principal, and district-wide leader with a rich history of managing people, processes, and data. Ryan has a passion for designing innovative learning experiences with technology and is completing his PhD in IT in May, 2023, with a specialization in digital forensics security. He is known for bringing excellent communication skills, thought leadership, and a deep understanding of organizational culture to the challenges of innovation, learning, technology, and transformation.

Session description

Very strong, unique and memorable passwords are a solution to improved security, but password fatigue causes many to use easy-to-crack passwords or reuse passwords. Educators and students will learn an easy three-step password cryptography method to create unique, strong and memorable passwords for every account.

Purpose & objective

A one page introduction to the topic, importance, challenges, and solutions for password fatigue can be found in the document on this landing page...

Password salting: A method of mitigating password re-use by including service or site names in passwords (Kävrestad et al., 2020).
Passphrases: Longer passwords that are created by combining more than one word together (Woo & Mirkovic, 2018).
Password distortion: A distortion function helps to break semantics within passwords by having users apply simple linear or non-linear functions, such as mathematical functions applied to each number in a password.

Direct instruction, instructional animation, and Kagan engagement strategies will be employed. Learners will watch an animated instructional video on the a 3 step password cryptography method. The Vyond animation video will be a video currently being edited and used with participants for the presenters dissertation. The video will be in the style of the this video created by the instructor...

Evidence of success - Participants will create a unique easy to recall password with a tested "time to crack" of more than 1,000 years.

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1st - Learners will create a unique password and test the entropy of the password using a password checker at that will calculate the number of years it would take to crack the password using brute force. They will share their entropy results with partners at their table. The presenter will invite participants to share if they've ever had a password breached, as well as any legal or financial consequences.
2nd - Learners will receive direct instruction on the challenges of poor passwords and current data on the consequences.
3rd - Learners will watch a brief animated video and receive direct instruction from the presenter on a 3 step password cryptography strategy that includes passphrases, password salting and password cryptography.
4th - Learners will practice creating a unique and easy to recall password.
5th - Learners will test their password creation skills using a password checker at that will calculate the number of years it would take to crack the password using brute force. They will share their results with whole group and the participants with very high entropy will receive an "I Love Entropy" sticker.

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Supporting research

Kävrestad, J., Eriksson, F., & Nohlberg, M. (2019). Understanding passwords – a taxonomy of password creation strategies. Information and Computer Security., 27(3), 453–467.

Li, Y., Wang, H., & Sun, K. (2017). Personal information in passwords and its security implications. IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, 12(10), 2320–2333.

I will also share the my final dissertation that will be completed in May, 2023.

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Session specifications

Safety, security & student data privacy
Grade level:
Skill level:
Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Principals/head teachers, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Attendees will need any device with a web browser to use a password entropy calculator at
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Model and promote management of personal data and digital identity and protect student data privacy.