Technology

Strong passwords | Tips on how to create them

It seems that passwords like password or 123456 are still used by many computers users as a means of not forgeting their account information. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t use the same simple password for all your online accounts. The best way of securing your account is by creating a unique and difficult password, one that no-one can break. What are the ways to create one like it though and is it possible to have one than one and yet to remember them all? Read on to find out!

What's yours?

What’s yours?

Features of a strong password

  • It is a word that is not found in a dictionary.
  • It contains a number of special characters and numbers.
  • It has a single entire word.
  • Both uppercase and lowercase letters are used.
  • It has at least 10 characters.
  • It is not based on the user’s personal information (birth date, zip code, phone number etc.)
  • Contains characters from the following 4 categories:
  1. capital letters: A, B, C
  2. lowercase letters: a, b, c
  3. numbers: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  4. Symbols found on the keyboard (all the keyboard characters that are not defined as letters or numerals) and spaces: `~! @ # $% ^ & * () _ – + = {} [] \ |:? “‘<>,.? /
  • The use of the replacing-characters rule, such as the replacement of a with the @ weakens your password. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid the common replacements, eg @ for A / a.
  • Choose a password and enter it by the alternating use of SHIFT key.

    That won't do it

    That won’t do it

From theory to practice

These guidelines may be easy to follow but they can still make your password weak. For example, the all-time-classic password of Hello2U! features everything you expect of a strong password (check the criteria above), yet it still features an entire word, so that exludes it from strong list. H3ll0 2 U! on the other hand has more replacements on the normal charatcers one would expect, thus making a better option.

Acronyms and mispellings are also a great option tou have are pretty easy to remember too. Choose something meaningful, such as an all-time-favourite song or an event of great importance and use it to your benefit. For instance, you can use the song Somebody That I Used To Know to make it $t1UtK and there you have it!

Write it as many times you need to learn it

Write it as many times you need to learn it

The use of your favourite things, such as a hobby, a sport, a movie or a video-game or book can prove to be useful too. You have all seen the iLuV form used in many things, so it is something you could borrow. What about 1LuVHaRRyP0TT3R or T3@MJac0B (if you use the latter, I doubt that anyone would like to search your account though).

@nakes!

@nakes!

Last but no least, another great thing to code to create a strong password to use a photo. That’s right, a photograph can be used to help you make the strongest random password there is. The only thing you have to do is choose your favourite photograph with friends (like the one you have on your Facebook cover) and write the names of your friends, starting from right-to-left or vise versa as a password.

For those who really are troubled to remember their password, there is always the alternating of writing it down. However, it is not recommended and, if you still insist on doing it, make sure that it is not apparent that this piece of information is a password to an account and keep it well hidden.

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