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password is a word or string of characters used for user authentication to prove identity or access approval to gain access to a resource (example: an access code is a type of password), which is to be kept secret from those not allowed access.

The use of passwords is known to be ancient. Sentries would challenge those wishing to enter an area or approaching it to supply a password or watchword, and would only allow a person or group to pass if they knew the password. In modern times, user names and passwords are commonly used by people during a log in process that controls access to protected computer operating systems, mobile phones, cable TV decoders, automated teller machines (ATMs), etc. A typical computer user has passwords for many purposes: logging into accounts, retrieving e-mail, accessing applications, databases, networks, web sites, and even reading the morning newspaper online.

Despite the name, there is no need for passwords to be actual words; indeed passwords which are not actual words may be harder to guess, a desirable property. Some passwords are formed from multiple words and may more accurately be called a passphrase. The terms passcode and passkey are sometimes used when the secret information is purely numeric, such as the personal identification number (PIN) commonly used for ATM access. Passwords are generally short enough to be easily memorized and typed.

Most organizations specify a password policy that sets requirements for the composition and usage of passwords, typically dictating minimum length, required categories (e.g. upper and lower case, numbers, and special characters), prohibited elements (e.g. own name, date of birth, address, telephone number). Some governments have national authentication frameworks that define requirements for user authentication to government services, including requirements for passwords.

Troy Hunt has expanded his Pwned Passwords tool with 80 million more passwords, to help users find if their passwords have been compromised.
Critical patch lands for that, UCS Domain Manager flaw, dirty dozen lesser messes fixed Cisco's Elastic Services Controller's release 3.0.0 software has a critical vulnerability: it accepts an empty admin password.…
Full-featured trojan catered to password thieves, Peeping Toms, and ransomware scammers.
1Password uses first five characters of a hash to compare passwords to breaches.
“Donrsquo;t tell anyone, but the Wi-Fi password is ‘martians,’” Musk says.
Every year, vast numbers of people around the globe relish the delightful prospect of filling out tax returns, applying for tax refunds, etc.

Given that tax authorities and their taxpayers are moving online, it's no surprise to find cybercriminals hard on their heels.
Developer embeds Chrome password dump tool in official installer to combat pirates.
The malware can remotely steal passwords by logging everything a user types, and more.
No, there's not a new security hole that gives attackers complete control over Linux servers.

But, if you use a poor password, yes, you can still get hacked.
Developer says tool was intended to target one specific cracker.
"Chaos" gives attackers, and follow-on attackers, full control over infected boxes.
Password managers, regular credit checks, credit freezes, device updates, encrypted email are just a few of the measures computer people can use to protect their data and privacy.