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Vergecast: Short passwords, baby cybersecurity, and choosing a VPN

Vergecast: Short passwords, baby cybersecurity, and choosing a VPN


All your cybersecurity questions, answered. Especially if they involve random number generators

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Vincent Kilbride / The Verge

Have you ever wondered where your “random” password came from? Is there such a thing as a not-random-enough password, or maybe a too-random password? How long should that password be, anyway, and why won’t some platforms let it be longer? Oh, and which VPN should you use, and how should you know? And really, what’s the worst a compromised website can do to you?

These are the kinds of cybersecurity questions we all encounter every day. By now, you probably know the basics: use multi-factor authentication whenever you can, have a password manager with different passwords for every service, and if you ever catch yourself telling someone your credit card number over the phone, hang up immediately. But so many other questions come up all the time — about how to protect yourself online and even what, exactly, you’re protecting yourself from.

Those are the questions we tried to answer on this special cybersecurity edition of The Vergecast. We asked for calls on the Vergecast Hotline (866-VERGE11), and brought in some of the experts on our staff to answer as many of them as we could. We went deep down some rabbit holes, put on our tinfoil hats, and did our best to come back with some realistic, no-nonsense answers for how you can do a little better.

Being a person online seems to get more complicated every day, and it’s not your fault. But we’re here to help. (And so is HTTPS.)