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Choosing Passwords and Keyfiles

It is very important that you choose a good password. You must avoid choosing one that contains only a single word that can be found in a dictionary (or a combination of such words). It must not contain any names, dates of birth, account numbers, or any other items that could be easy to guess. A good password is a random combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters, such as @ ^ = $ * + etc. We strongly recommend choosing a password consisting of more than 20 characters (the longer, the better). Short passwords are easy to crack using brute-force techniques.

To make brute-force attacks on a keyfile infeasible, the size of the keyfile must be at least 30 bytes. If a volume uses multiple keyfiles, then at least one of the keyfiles must be 30 bytes in size or larger. Note that the 30-byte limit assumes a large amount of entropy in the keyfile. If the first 1024 kilobytes of a file contain only a small amount of entropy, it must not be used as a keyfile (regardless of the file size). If you are not sure what entropy means, we recommend that you let TrueCrypt generate a file with random content and that you use it as a keyfile (select Tools -> Keyfile Generator).

When creating a volume, encrypting a system partition/drive, or changing passwords/keyfiles, you must not allow any third party to choose or modify the password/keyfile(s) before/while the volume is created or the password/keyfiles(s) changed. For example, you must not use any password generators (whether website applications or locally run programs) where you are not sure that they are high-quality and uncontrolled by an attacker, and keyfiles must not be files that you download from the internet or that are accessible to other users of the computer (whether they are administrators or not).

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