The security of your data depends not only on the strength of the encryption method but also on the strength of your password, including factors such as length and composition of the password, and the measures you take to ensure that your password is not disclosed to unauthorized third parties.
You should keep the following considerations in mind when choosing passwords for your files:
- In general, longer passwords are more secure than shorter passwords. In fact, taking maximum advantage of the full strength of AES encryption requires a password of approximately 32 characters for 128-bit encryption and 64 characters for 256-bit encryption.
- Passwords that contain a mixture of letters (upper and lower case), digits, and punctuation are more secure than passwords containing only letters.
- Because you can use spaces and punctuation, you can create "pass phrases" that are long enough but still easy to remember and type.
- Avoid using easily guessed passwords such as names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, etc.
Be sure to keep a record of the passwords you use and to keep this record in a secure place. WinZip® has no way to access the contents of an encrypted file unless you supply the correct password. Before storing your only copies of critical information in encrypted form, you should carefully consider the risks associated with losing or forgetting the passwords involved.