How To Properly Choose A PasswordPosted: May 29, 2015
Choosing a secure password is one of the most important security measures you can take when working with anything online. It will help keep your personal information and identity safe and secure.
First, let’s talk about passwords that would be easily hacked. Choosing a simple 8 character password can take less than half a second for a computer to hack. You should never choose one or two dictionary word passwords. These are very simple and not secure. Spelling words wrong, or writing out numbers does not make a password more secure. For example, passwords like qwerty, onetwothreefour, and passwerd are very simple and easy to crack. You should always avoid using passwords containing personal information. Birthdates, names and addresses would be easily determined by someone who may know you. Even combining common words and numbers (ex Michaeliscool2015) does not mean your password is more secure.
Here is a more thorough list of things you should NOT choose for your password.
- Your name in any form (first, middle, last, maiden, spelled backwards, nicknames, initials)
- Your address, phone number, birthday, or anniversary
- Parts of your username
- Your friend, relative, or pets name
- Anything strictly numerical
- Places or things
- A single word with a digit, punctuation mark, and/or number
- Any single dictionary word (even if used with lowercase and uppercase letters)
There are many different ways to come up with a secure password. A great tip is to choose a passphrase with a mixture of words and numbers/punctuation. For example “MyCatLikes2SleepAndEatAllDay”. To secure your passphrase even further, choose a phrase or statement that is not true. For example, “MyCatL!kes2GoDancingAtCityHall” or “MyMotherSunTansInTheSnow4Fun:)”.
If you are using a site that requires that your password to be relatively short, try this method. Choose a phrase, take the first letter of each word, and add numbers/punctuation where possible.
Phrase – I drink orange juice at the sea in my pajamas
First Letters – idojatsimp
Password – 1dOJ@tCimPJs
Phrase – Let’s go to the market at nine for breakfast
Password – Lg2tM@94B
It is important to remember that you should always use a different password for each site. Never use the same password twice. There are many secure password managers that can help to keep your passwords organized.
A secure and complex password/passphrase can save your identity and sensitive information.