Still using an easy-to-guess password? Buy a better one from this 11-year-old

What were you doing in 6th grade?

 

Kate Conger

Tech

Published Oct 25, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 6:19 pm CDT

An 11-year-old has launched an online business selling strong passwords, according to an Ars Technica report. Mira Modi, a sixth-grader who lives in New York, launched a website this month where customers can order a Diceware password for $2.

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Diceware passwords are generated by rolling a set of dice several times. The numbers rolled on the dice correspond to words on a list, and by rolling the dice several times, users come up with a string of random yet memorable words. A longer password is a stronger password, but long passwords can be difficult to remember. That’s where Diceware comes in handy—it helps come up with a list of truly random words that are hard to crack but easy to remember.

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As Modi explains on her website: “Using a proven methodology, I build long, strong, memorable passwords using strings of words from the dictionary that I select using dice.”

Modi tells Ars she came up with the business idea after helping her mother, tech journalist Julia Angwin, generate Diceware passwords. At first, Modi sold the passwords in person at her mother’s book events. But sales were slow, so she launched her website, dicewarepasswords.com

“I wanted to make it a public thing because I wasn’t getting very much money,” Modi told Ars. “I thought it would be fun to have my own website.”

In order to keep the passwords secure for her customers, Modi has to conduct most of her business offline. When she generates her passwords, she writes them down by hand and then sends them to her customers by mail. As she notes on her website, the government can’t open your mail without a warrant, so it’s the best way to deliver your password to you.

H/T Ars Technica | Illustration by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Oct 25, 2015, 6:51 pm CDT