What Makes a Good Password?
Do You Have a Good Password?
Every day, people are getting their online accounts hacked. Users are warned to be sure they have a "good" password. But what makes a "good" password?
Do you know what "phishing" is? Do you know how to make a good password? What can you do if you lose or forget your password?
Here are some tips and common mistakes. These tips are helpful for anyone who is on social media, or who uses the internet for banking, bill-paying, or buying products online.
There are also products and services that will help you generate a good password or remember your passwords.
Heartbleed - The Newest Threat to Your Passwords - Am I affected?
Have you heard about the newest threat to your passwords? Do you need to change yours?
- The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now
An encryption flaw called the Heartbleed bug is already being called one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever seen.
What NOT to Choose
Bad password, bad!
The word "password". Seems obvious, but it's one of the most common (and easily guessed).
Your name or a family member's name
Your social security number
Qwerty (top row of letters on a keyboard)
Consecutive numbers (like 12345)
- Password generator
Offers two options, either a completely random password, or one generated from an easily remembered phrase that you choose.
A Purple Giraffe?
For Visual Thinkers
Some people are "visual thinkers" so if you can picture something WILD in your head (like a purple giraffe) you can use that as your password.
Take the words in the image - purplegiraffe
Now remove the vowels prplgrff
Now, imagine it is a GIANT giraffe! It weighs a ton (2000 lbs)
Add that at the beginning or the end of the password to make "prplgrff2000"
Of course you don't have to use a giant purple giraffe. Make up any crazy image, so long as it is meaningful to you, and easy for you to visualize. This will make remembering it much easier.
Choosing a Good Password
- Choosing a good password
A good password is one that's hard to guess, yet easy to remember. So here are the top 10 ways to choose a password, in roughly increasing difficulty. If you don't use any of the first 5, you're well on your way. The stats are very rough estimates (f
Password Humor - Sometimes You Just Have to Laugh
Make Up Your Own
Creating a unique password
The problem with trying to come up with a difficult-to-guess password, is that you yourself want to be able to remember it easily!
Random letters and numbers may be hard for hackers to get, but who wants to use a password that is hard to remember?
Think about your childhood. Do you remember your elementary school teachers' names?
Use the first letter of their last names to make "JBGSK"
Now add some numbers. This could be the house number where you lived, or the year you started school - something that YOU can easily remember, but would be really hard for anyone else to guess. What names or numbers you use is up to you, but choosing something from your childhood is an easy way to select things that no one else is likely to guess, yet won't be hard for you to use.
Let's say your address when you were in elementary school was 1285 Olive Street. Now your password is JBGSK1285. Or 1285JBGSK. Or 1J2B8G5SK. Mix it up any way you want, so long as YOU can remember it. Be sure to write it down someplace.
Hope you found this helpful!
Learn More About Good Passwords
I have given you some basic information about passwords. It is a good idea to read more deeply about this topic to understand the importance of a good password, and how to protect yourself.
There are also items available to help you recover your password.
Favorite Things as Password
Another way to generate your own unique password is to think of your favorite things.
Think of a favorite color, vacation spot, hair color, season, holiday or even flavor of ice cream. Your favorite things are going to be easy for you to remember. Use caution though as you may have family members, friends or even people on social media sites who know your favorite things.
This means you are going to need to "mix it up" by not simply using the words as they are written. You can use the same trick I mentioned in "Purple Giraffe" where you drop all of the vowels, or you can try spelling the words backwards (although some password hackers have already thought of this, and they have programs set up to decrypt your password by reading it backwards).
You can take two words and rearrange the letters using every other letter. Here is an example:
Say your favorite color is VIOLET. And your favorite season is AUTUMN. You could make a password alternating the letters to make a password that reads: VAIUOTLUEMTN.
Many password requirements will ask for you to include numbers. Do not add a number that is easy to guess, like your age, or the year you were born. Go back to the "favorite" things, and think of the year of election for your favorite president, or the year you attended your favorite concert. Maybe your favorite make of automobile, such as a '67 Mustang, you could add "67" or "6" and "7" into your password.
Do not simply write the words out as they are normally spelled, because computer hackers who use software designed to crack your password have the program set to recognize full words. So using the above example, VIOLETAUTUMN would not be a strong password, because a hacker could easily spot that it is two words, spelled normally.
Learn about Phishing
Do you know what the term "phishing" means?
Phishing (pronounced as "fishing") means someone is trying to trick you into giving them your secure information, such as your password or bank or credit card account number. Sometimes the people trying to get your information will pretend to be your bank, your credit card company, PayPal, or a representative from a social media site like Twitter or Facebook.
You may receive an e-mail from the pretender asking you to click on a link within the e-mail. It will direct you to a website that looks very similar to the website they are pretending to be. These pretenders are very clever but they are deceitful. The site they send you to is a scam to steal your security information. When you go to the fake website, you will be asked for your account information, such as the password or the account number.
BEWARE! These websites are part of a scam to steal your information! If you get an e-mail claiming to be from a financial institution or a social media site and they are asking for your vital information, it is almost always a scam. Do not click on the link in the e-mail! Even if you don't provide the information, sometimes simply visiting the fake site can infect your computer with a virus that will scan your computer for the information. Always go directly to the website you know is valid, and see if you have any messages or requests.
When I started this page, several people sent me links to articles about passwords. Great advice here!
- Passwords are not forever
Password security is a most important factor in authentication. You should consider securing your passwords similar to your credit card number. The strength of the password decides how strong your authentication mechanism is. A weak password can be g
- Custom password strength settings for administrators
Administrators can now set minimum and maximum password length requirements for their users, and view visual indicators of the strength of their users' passwords. _________________________
- How I'd Hack Your Weak Passwords
If you invited me to try and crack your password, you know the one that you use over and over for like every web page you visit, how many guesses would it take before I got it? _________________________
Another sneaky way to make a password
Did you or your children ever speak in "baby talk" such as "oh what a pwetty baby" (mispronouncing the "R" in pretty as a "W" because that is how young children often pronounce it)? Use that special language to create your unique password!
Here's an example Some children say the word "spaghetti" as something more like "pasketti." Think of the way you or your children talked as children. Was there some particular word or phrase that had a special pronunciation? Use that unique "made-up" word as a password. It will be easy for you to remember, but difficult (since it isn't a real word) for a hacker to guess.