How to Create a Strong Password
Passwords play an important role in today’s society. They keep our personal information under lock from criminals and other malicious users. This is the exact reason why you should create a strong password to keep unwanted users out and your information well protected.
A strong password does not have to be so complicated that you cannot remember it. On the other hand, your password should be lengthy enough to make it harder to crack. “To an attacker a strong password should appear to be a random string of characters” (Microsoft).
Your password should be at least “8 or more characters in length; 14 characters or longer is ideal” (Microsoft). It should also include both letters in upper and lowercase, numbers, and if you are permitted use symbols as well.
Easy Ways to Remember
A simple way to remember lengthy passwords is to have one rule set for all the passwords you use. You would use the same base password but simply switch the service information.
For example, you could use the same letters to start your password such as “your initials and a favorite number” (Life Hacker). Then you would end the password in the service’s name.
For instance, a password I could use for YahooMail would be KatEGrey13YAHOO. If I was permitted to use symbols for Yahoo I could place #KatEGrey13YAHOO# at the beginning and end of my passwords.
You could also include the initial of your mother’s maiden name or a nickname most others are not familiar with. Or you could always add more characters or extra information unique to that service.
Is Your Password Strong Enough?
There are other alternatives to creating a strong password as well. Such as a compound password which is a “juxtaposition of two simple words, with their letters alternating” (Life Hacker). In addition, Microsoft offers a free password checker to test the strength of your passwords on their website: www.microsoft.com
Resources and Further Reading
- Broida, Rick. How to create the perfect password. <http://lifehacker.com/software/passwords/how-to-create-the-perfect-password-229197.php>.
- Trapani, Gina. Geek to Live: Choose (and remember) great passwords.<http://lifehacker.com/software/top/geek-to-live--choose-and-remember-greatpasswords-184773.php>.
- Strong passwords: How to create and use them. <http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/create.mspx>.
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