Passwords are massive part of the day to day life in the 21st century. Its not even 10 o’clock and Ive personally used 5 already. You have a password for your email, your bank accounts, several social media accounts, your house and the gym.., the list is endless. The real issue we are now facing is finding the line between making our passwords hard to crack and making them not so hard to remember, which we all know can become quite difficult as a bunch of number and letters can easily drown in our already busy lives. Here are some tips on how to create and remember strong passwords.
Tips on how to create strong passwords
Most definitely the easiest way to create strong and unique passwords is with use of a password creator. If the application or website you are currently creating a password for does not have one inbuilt into their system, here are a few password creators on the internet that I would suggest:
Further more there may be times where you will need to create a password off the top of your head or you would like to check the strength of a generated password. When doing so you should combine words, phrases, numbers. For further security you may even want to substitute a certain letter or number for another. However just relying on such will not provide suffice protection as hacking software continually advances and can pick up on patterns better than humans can. Here are some guidelines when creating a password manually:
- A password should be a minimum of 12 characters long however is recommended that they are 14 characters long,
- Should contain both upper and lower case letters,
- Should contain at least 1 number from 0-9,
- Should include at least 1 special character such as $, % @ etc.
What Not To Include In Your Password
- A password should be no less than 8 characters long,
- Should not be a word found in the dictionary or even slang,
- Should not contain any personal information such as names of friends, family or pets, birthdates, phone numbers or anything that could be linked to yourself.
- Should not contain any patterns such as 12345, aabbcc, zyxwvuts.
- Should not contain backward spelt words and;
- Should never be a version of ‘Welcome123’, ‘Password321’ or anything similar.
Among the previously mentioned ‘DO NOT’s’, one of the most common mistakes people make when creating a password is believing that simply replacing a certain letter with a corresponding number or character for a word will provide for a suffice password. For example: ‘a’ with ‘@’, ‘s’ with 5′. Unfortunately just like using patterns, personal information and backwards spelt words, almost all low level codebreaking software will crack your password within minutes.
Something else that is highly un recommended is to use the SAME password for different accounts and logins. Websites get hacked. No matter how secure, the worlds largest corporations get hacked from time to time. When massive breaches happen similar to that of the Myspace breach earlier this year, hackers get your info including your username, email and password. If these are all the same for different logins, it doesn’t make it very hard for them to then get into all of your accounts. Furthermore this is also why you should never use personal information within a password as mentioned before. With details such as your name, DOB, address and gender.., it makes it a lot easier for hackers to use codebreaking software to crack your password and will do so in a matter of minutes
Following the previous guidelines, the perfect password should look something like this: ‘A8dg2$_hy4L1dr’
If your someone that struggles with remembering passwords or you have literally 10s or even hundreds, it may be best to look into a password manager to store all of your confidential info. Personally this is what I would suggest to do and is undoubtably the safest way to store your passwords without the risk of forgetting them. For the most part password managers are end to end encrypted making it impossible to access without the private key (password) as it is needed to literally unencrypted the data. Dash Lane and Last Pass are a couple renowned password managers you may want to look into.
Not everyone wants their passwords to be unbreakable but more so easy to remember (Especially if used more than say 10 times a day). Here a few ways to create passwords that can be easily remembered but are still somewhat strong and unique. These methods I would not suggest to use on anything that is either extremely important or connected to the internet as password crackers can still pickup on the patterns that underlie the following methods. These passwords could be used to lock your tablet, safe, front door etc,. As long as it is not connected to the internet.
Although it goes against a few of the rules mentioned before, one way to create unique and strong passwords that are somewhat easier to remember is the use of compound words. By combining several words of significance you can create a hard to crack password that will still resonate within your mind and is a lot harder to forget. Please note the word significant was used and not personal. This meaning two words that mean a lot to yourself but could quite easily mean a lot to the stranger next to you as well. For example if you like cats and the colour blue you may create a password such as ‘BlueCat1352’. or ‘B3ueC@t’. Remember the use of special characters and numbers and not to do so with any pattern but at random. Make sure you are not forming a pattern in regards to what letter you substitute with what character. Make it random to avoid traceable patterns.
Think of a line from a song or a movie or a sentence, use industry lingo, a phrase, title, lyric…at least 12 words long. Preferably 15 words or longer. For example sake we will use the following sentence: “All around the mulberry bush the Monkey chased the Weasel.” Take the first letter of each word, maintaining capitalisation and you are left with the following: AatmbtMctW.
Remember to add any numbers or special characters where you can.
Use a Bridge Shuffle
For example your word is kitty and your post code is 2042 you can use k2i0t4t2y. Again remember to add any uppercase letters and special characters where you can. Don’t make it to personal. Favourite animal and post code is probably a little to personal already so keep it broad.
Don’t fall for “phishing” attacks.
Be very careful before clicking on a link (even if it appears to be from a legitimate site) asking you to log in, change your password or provide any other personal information. It might be legit or it might be a “phishing” scam where the information you enter goes to a hacker. When in doubt, log on manually by typing what you know to be the site’s URL into your browser window.
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