- Internet & the Web
How To Create Or Choose A Good Password
Choosing a good password plays a large part in ensuring the security of your password. You can have the best software that protects against viruses, trojan horses, spyware, keyloggers, etc, and you never give out or write down your password, but if you choose your social security number or your spouse’s name as your password, all your efforts might be in vain. So, learn how to choose a good password, so that even a hacker armed with the best password cracking software would have a hard time finding out your password.
Include Many Character Types
That means upper case, lower case, numeric and special characters. It is definitely a pain to do this but you do want to put as many obstacles as possible in front of hackers who are looking for your password.
No Personal Information
Don’t include any kind of personal information into your password. That will include your birthday, your dog’s name, the city you were born in, etc. On the Internet, much of this information is available without your knowledge, and a hacker armed with this information will be that much closer to discovering your password.
No Words, Dates Or Names
Do not use any words, dates or names as part of your password. That includes foreign words from other languages as well. And do not use terms or words from the medical dictionaries, or from other specialized fields. In other words, any non random character combinations should not be used.
No Patterns Or Sequences
Any kind of pattern or sequence should be avoided. That will include any of the following:
- Any names, dates, word or other any other items that is to be avoided spelled backwards.
- Any name or words with a number tagged in front or behind it. For example, a password like “Alice135” or “135Alice” should be avoided. A number in between a name should also be avoided.
- Any obvious sequences like “123456” or “QWERTY”.
Easy To Remember, Hard To Guess
Try to choose a password that is easy for you to remember or derive but hard for a third party to guess. This will definitely exclude any personal information, words or obvious patterns or sequences as noted above. One technique would be to choose a phrase that is easy for you to remember, and take the first characters of the phrase as your password. Or, better still, use the second characters of the phrase as your password.
You might think that some of the precautions suggested here seem a little too extreme. In the light of a hacker manually inputting each guess of your password into the keyboard, I would totally agree. All you need to do is to combine your dog’s name with your mother’s middle name, and spell that backwards, and it’s going to take forever for that hacker to be able to guess your password.
But I’m sure that any hacker worth his salt is not going to be inputting anything manually. He will probably have all the dictionaries of all the languages, specialized dictionaries of all the various trades, a database of your personal information, and software that will have algorithms familiar with the usual password strategies searching for the most probable combinations for your password. Considering that the software can probably make hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of attempts at your password each second, there is a good chance that if you chose a weak password, it will be very easily broken.