We live in a password-driven world. By entering a few special characters, you can access your bank account, your social media sites, Netflix - the list goes on and on.
But with so many passwords required, it’s easy to want to use the same, simple password over and over (though we all know that’s not a best practice).
That’s why today, we’re going over how to create a secure password you can ACTUALLY remember.
But first, what is a strong password? Well, a strong password…
- Has a minimum of 12 characters - Generally speaking, the longer your password is, the better. (Between 12 and 14 characters is good.)
- Includes a mix of capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols - Yes, you want all four. The more you mix it up, the harder it is to crack.
- Doesn’t rely on identifying information - And by this I mean, your birthday, your dog’s name, the street you live on, etc. These can all be easily guessed.
Now creating a password isn’t necessarily the hard part. You could easily just type in a bunch of random characters (i.e. niwldkhg24!mp), and voila! You’re all set.
But the problem is creating a secure password you can actually remember. Unless niwldkhg24!mp means something to you, you’re probably not going to remember it.
So how can you generate a secure password that’s also somewhat memorable? Here are a few tips:
- Use substitutions - If you’re using real words, try substituting certain letters with various numbers and symbols. For example, instead of setting your password to BigRedDog, try setting it to B!gR3dD0g. This mixes things up, making it a little harder to guess.
- Spell a word backwards - To make your password even harder to guess, try spelling words backwards. For example, California would become ainrofilaC. Throw in a few numbers and symbols and you’re good!
- Use mnemonics - What’s better than using words spelled backwards? Not using words at all. That’s right, we’re talking mnemonics. Here’s how it works: Try thinking of a sentence that’s easy to remember. Then use the first letter of every word in that sentence as your password. For example, “The first house I ever lived in was at 316 West Peachtree Street,” would become “TfhIeliwa316WPS.” That’s 15 characters, has a mix of capital and lowercase letters, and even includes a few numbers. Try throwing in one or two symbols at the end and you’ve got yourself a solid (yet memorable) password.
What advice do you have for generating/remembering passwords? Let us know in the comments below!
And if you’re really interested in information security, check out this infographic on the Top 500 Used Passwords. (Hopefully yours isn’t on there!)