A secure password is essential for computer security. Everyone talks about them but how do you create one that will keep the bad guys out? I’ll give you a few examples of what a strong password is and how to come up with one that you’ll be able to remember; without having to write it down and without having to use a password generator.
What is a password?
According to Google, a password is defined as a string of characters that allows access to a computer, interface, or system. As techie as that sounds, I think it’s a pretty good definition and easily understood. While a password can generally be anything you want, as long as it meets some minimal requirements, it’s a good idea to make sure that you are picking a strong one.
What makes a password “secure” or “strong”?
A secure password is one that meets the following requirements:
- At least 8 characters in length
- Uses upper and lower case letters (A-Z , a-z)
- Includes numbers and symbols (1234%$#@)
Examples of a strong password are:
Great, now we have a strong password, but you may be asking yourself: ”How will I ever remember all those random characters?” The truth is, those aren’t random characters.
Now Lets Create a Secure Password
The easiest way to create a strong password is to think of a phrase and then take the first letter of each word in that phrase to create the password.
Let’s take the first example from above: MWi27Y0!. I used this phrase to come up with the password: My Wife is 27 Years old! Notice that I substituted a zero “0? for the “O” for the first character. I also used the number “27″ instead of spelling it out “Twenty Seven”. Those two things along with the exclamation point at the end give me a strong password.
Let’s take the second example: H!t1m8?G1Tm. The phrase I used for this password was: Hey! That is my bag? Give it to me. Instead of using “I” I used “1″ in whole password. I also ignored the space between the two sentences. Avoid using spaces in your password, they just lead to confusion. I used “8?” in the place of “B?” because it is similar to it.
The last example I gave was: J!Wn$94hM@34. Here’s the phrase I used: John is My neighbor since 1994. He was at 34. I switched the:
- “S” for “$”
- “W” for “M”
- “M” for “W”
- “1″ for “!”
Remember What you Learned!
See how easy that was? Using this method will make it easier to remember your secure logins; allowing you to choose passwords that will keep your accounts safe. So when it’s time for you to update your computer password, don’t just add the number 1 to the end. Take a few minutes and think of a phrase that you’ll remember and use it to help you come up with something great. Computer security starts with your password, make sure you pick a strong one.
Curious if you have a secure password? Check your current password strength by visiting The Password Meter or How Secure is my Password.