mobile-bannertablet-bannerdesktop-banner
Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 12.57.58 PM

This is Edward Snowden's Advice to John Oliver for an Unhackable Password

Apr 09, 2015

Edward Snowden has bad news for you: Your computer password is probably terrible.

In a web extension of his Sunday interview with John Oliver on Last Week Tonight, Snowden laid out the bad news: "For somebody who has a very common 8-character password, it can literally take less than a second for a computer to go through possibilities and pull that password out."

newsletter
The Brief NewsletterSign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now. View Sample

Less than one second.

"My password is five characters," Oliver said. "That's not a joke. That's bad, right?"

Snowden agreed it is really bad.

So what should people do for their passwords? While Oliver's suggestion of "limpbiscuit4eva" was a flop, Snowden had some helpful advice: Forget about passwords and go with "passphrases," or phrases that are long, unique, and thus easy to remember. Like "margaretthatcheris110%SEXY".

A computer would never get it, and you'd never forget it.

Read next: Watch John Oliver Tell Edward Snowden No One Knows Who He Is

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.