Passwords are not just random texts that you need to gain access to your online accounts. These can completely change your life for the worse if they had gotten into the wrong hands.
An average person spends about 11 hours online each day. They chat with their friends, email their colleagues, play games, watch movies, or just catch up with their Facebook friends every day. And each time they open a website, they log in to their accounts, making their presence known to other people online.
If you think your password—which is probably the name of your pet, your birth date or your children’s names—is safe from prying eyes, think again. Most people don’t use a secure password, which makes them vulnerable to hacking. And when hackers are able to infiltrate one of your accounts, they may infiltrate all of them, including your online bank accounts and personal records.
And they can do all that by manually guessing your password or using automated programs to guess it. There are other ways of discovering a user’s password, but all these can be prevented, or at least slowed down considerably, by using a strong password. A strong password is your protection online.
Here are six ways on how to create a secure password that you won’t forget:
The Anatomy of an Unbreakable Password: The Basics
The longer the password, the harder it is to crack: Consider a 12 character password or longer.
Use variations on capitalization, spelling, numbers and punctuation. Use mixed case letters, numbers and symbols.
Remember that 90% of password generated by users are vulnerable to hacking
Do not choose you pet’s name, birthday, address, family members names, etc.
Do not use a word that is found in the dictionary. Use variation of it.
In 2012, 400k Yahoo! email addresses were hacked. Don’t be part of the statistics!
Use a different password for every account that you have.
Crackers use different dictionaries:
English words, names , foreign words, phonetic patterns, 2 digits, dates, single symbols and common substitutions lie “$” for “s”, “@” for “a”, “1” for “i”…
This guessing strategy quickly breaks about 2/3 of all passwords.
Here is a list of the most common passwords that turned up in the Adobe breach
7 Methods to Create a Secure Password You’ll Actually Remember
It’s important that your password be string. But it’s equally important that you never forget and that you are able to find it back…. just like finding back your path in the forest, there are several tricks to help you recall it. e
Bruce Schneier’s Method
- Take a sentence and turn it into a password
- Take the words from the sentence, then abbreviate and combine them in a unique ways to form a passwords.
- WOO!TOPwontSB = Woohoo! The packers won the Super Bowl!
- PPupmoarT@0@tgs = please pick up more Toasty O’s at the grocery store
- W?ow?imp::ohth3r = Where of where is my pear? Oh, there
The Electrum Method
- Make a lengthy phrase
- Start with a phrase such as:
Even in winter, the dogs party with brooms and neighbor Kit Kats
- Make sure it is not a simple phrase or a phrase taken from existing literature…
- Alternatively, grab 12 random words:
Pantry duck cotton ballcap tissue airplane snore oar Christmas puddle log charisma
When placed into a password checker, the 12 word pass phrase above shows that it will take 238 378 158 171 207 quadragintillion years for a brute force attack to crack! That’s a lot!!!
The PAO Method
It stands for Person Action Object.
- Select an image of an interesting place (Eiffel Tower)
- Select a photo of a familiar or famous person (Lady Gaga)
- Imagine some random action along with a random object (Lady Gaga walking around the Eiffel Tower)
The PAO method of memorization has cognitive advantages: our brains remember better with visual, shared cues and with outlandish, unusual scenarios.
Phonetic Muscle Memory
Find passwords that you can sound out in your head.
DrEnaba5ET: doctor enbaba 5 E.T.
BragUtheV5: brag you the V5
Here is a process to help you:
- Go to a random password generator site: https://passwordsgenerator.net/
- Create 20 new passwords
- Scan the passwords, looking for phonetic structure.
- Type out the phonetic passwords in a text file, take not of how easy they are to type and how quickly you can type them
- The easy-to-type passwords tend to get stuck in your muscle memory quicker.
Shift your fingers one key out of your normal typing position
The idea is as simple as it is : move your finger one key set when typing your password. If your password doesn’t use the Q,A or Z, you can hit the key to the left, or to the right it you don’t use the P, L or M.
Reverse & Combine
Reverse your password and combine it by alternating letters and numbers
Just start with the letters and reverse the number, placing them alternately.
For example, say your word is kitty and your number is your ZIP code: 56789
You password would be: k9i8t7t6y5
Alternatively, you can make the first letter a capital for greater security.
Tips for Extra Security
- Sign up for a Password Management Tool: LastPass is a good one.
- Hybrid Method: use password management plus memorization.
- If you say the letters or numbers to yourself to get a rhythm; this will help you to memorize it.
- When coming up with a mnemonic sentence, try to make the sentence funny or relevant to yourself.
Last, you might combine several of these methods and still come up with a truly memorable yet very strong pass phrase.
Remember, never reuse the same passwords!