Three Unique Tips for Creating Memorable & Secure Passwords

November 6th, 2017 by admin

In today’s cyber-world, you can’t afford to have a password like “123456” (which, unfortunately, was the most common password of 2016). Many of us know deep down that our passwords could be more secure. We’ve heard it all before - they should be at least 12 characters long, avoid common words, use a variety of capitalization, special characters, etc. If adhering to these guidelines leads to clicking the “Forgot my Password” button on a regular basis, you’ve likely felt the frustration of finding a password that will keep hackers out, but still let you in.  Here are some tips to creating strong and memorable passwords to make your life easier, and hackers’ lives a lot harder:  

Use a pass-phrase

Hackers use different dictionaries to crack passwords; these dictionaries include English and foreign words, two digit combinations, dates, symbols and common substitutions (@ for a, $ for s, etc.). Rather than selecting a word, experts suggest trying a pass-phrase. If you take six non-related words, such as cobra, honeydew, alphabet, rum, duke and charisma, and put them together (cobrahoneydewalphabetrumdukecharisma), you’ve got an extremely tough password that’s nearly impossible to crack. To help generate this pass-phrase, use an online word generator.  

Turn a sentence into a password

If remembering random words isn’t quite your style, try this method. Take a sentence that’s easy to remember. Use the first letter of each word (using numbers and symbols wherever possible) to create an ultra-secure password. Here are some examples:
  • My first apartment was on 3rd East and rent was $500 – MfAwo3EaRw$500
  • I love to get $100 bills at the bank – i<32g$100B@tb
  • Giving 110% at work makes you a superstar – G110%@wMyAs*
  • Driving less than 25 miles per hour makes me sad – d<25mPhMm:(
Once you’ve created your password, click here to test it against a computer to see how long it would take to crack (for example, “ilovemom” would take about 5 minutes for a computer to crack, while a six-word random passphrase would take nonillions of years).  

Consider using a password manager

Do not use the same password for more than one account. If any of your passwords were to be cracked or accounts were to be compromised, hackers could easily access any of your other accounts using the same password. It’s become quite difficult to keep track of so many passwords, let alone which one goes where. If you’re finding yourself in this situation, a password manager might be the way to go. Password managers like LastPass and Dashlane organize and store all your passwords in one secure place. You simply set a master password, then the manager will input the correct password. Although password managers are secure, you may find additional peace of mind in keeping any extremely sensitive or frequently used accounts’ passwords exclusively locked away in your head, while other less important or less frequently used passwords could be stored in the software.   Although a secure password is a great way to keep hackers out, they have other ways in, so it’s important to always be wise and alert. Click here for our top tips on avoiding phishing scams (an extremely common way to obtain personal information) to give yourself even more protection.     Hannah Webb

Posted in: Protection, Security, Tech Tips