If you are like most people, you have many online accounts and a plethora of private and confidential information on them. Today, most of us have multiple social media and email accounts which contain a lot of personal and corporate data that you don’t want seen by anyone else. Unfortunately, even though you may think that your ‘strong’ password is protecting that data, this is often not true. People who aren’t aware of password making rules usually have ones which correspond with their birthdays, hometowns or loved ones. These passwords are the easiest to hack and if you have used something similar, know that you aren’t protected.
The truth is, though most people rely on clouds and other such online saving drives to encompass important information, we fail to focus on the most sensitive area, which is the password. If you have a lot of accounts then you have probably repeated the same password at least twice, which is one of the biggest mistakes you could make when protecting data. This is especially true if your Google drive or Dropbox has confidential corporate papers and information. So, the question arises, what exactly do you do to create a strong password? How do you make sure your accounts aren’t easily hacked?
We are here to answer these questions and ensure that once you have completed reading this article, you know the basics about creating a really strong password. Here are a couple of things you should begin with.
Be Smart About Your Password
The first thing that you need to do when creating a good password is remembering that it isn’t rocket science. Yes, you may need to be smart about it and not create one which includes your birthday, country or famous dictionary words, but it doesn’t have to be really tough in order to be safe. Next, make sure your password is somewhere between 8-12 characters long because the longer passwords are harder to hack. Ideally, experts recommend that you go up to 12 especially if you are protecting a particularly confidential account. Finally, the smartest thing, that everyone agrees on when creating a strong password is to mix up numbers, letters, capitalization and punctuation. Once you do this, you will be in the best position to create a good password.
Trust Your Keyboard
One of the smartest ways to come up with a unique password, which you can remember is to play with your keyboard. Use your keyboard as a canvas, focus on a particular area and make out imaginary letters or numbers. For instance, though it may be hard for you to remember 1qazdrfvgy7 as it is, it will be easier when you know it corresponds to a ‘W’ on your keyboard. So be creative about it and you’ll be able to come up with distinctive password within no time.
Use the Bruce Scheier’s Method
Back in 2008, the security expert, Bruce Schneier came up with a password creation trick that many recommend even today. This process in very simple where you take a sentence, abbreviate it in a unique way, and viola, there’s your password. The sentence that you pick can be something memorable for you so it is easier for you to remember. You can even combine 2 sentences to make a 12-18 characters long password which will make it almost impossible to hack. Here are a few examples of how you can create a strong password using this method.
Get Me a Burger at McDonalds = GM3AB@Md
I Love to Hitch-Hike = iLvThtch…hke
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star = TwIN2ltl*
Other than this very popular method, there are many others like The Electrum Method, The PAO Method and The Phonetic Muscle Memory Method which you can use to create strong passwords.
Always Right Down Your Password Somewhere
Though it’s never a good idea to tell your password to someone online or even in your personal life, you should always right it down somewhere. If you have a diary or something similar, then you could always write it down there or simply scribble it on a paper and hide it in your night drawer or somewhere similar. Remember only skip this step if you are absolutely sure that you won’t forget your password because people often don’t make difficult passwords in fear of forgetting them, which they do. Once you have used your strong password a couple of times, you will be able to remember it.
Use a Password Management Tool
Finally, if all else fails and you don’t even think you can remember where you kept the paper which you wrote on, you can always download a password management tool. These tools are meant for people who have a lot of accounts and are smart enough not to use one password for all of them. What it does is that it safely stores all your passwords and all you need to remember is a master password which will give you access to all of them. Once you enter the master password, the tool will do the rest for you, automatically. Some of these password management tools even give you suggestions for new passwords so you can use the service to create a new one as well.
The Final Takeaway
Though there a lot of other methods and safety precautions you should take to create a strong password, these were some of the most basic techniques which are easier to execute and remember.
At the end of the day, it’s essential to bear in mind that even the most complex and cleverly created passwords sometimes get hacked and compromised. This is why you should never thing you are completely secure simply because it is long or has many characters in it. If you want to be protected, you should use anti-spyware software and avoid phishing scams which are usually responsible for compromising your accounts. Moreover, experts recommend that you use two-factor authentication techniques wherever they are available.