Creating passwords has never been an easy task. Deciding what word(s) or phrase to use is an eternal struggle, and then adding special characters like capitalization, punctuation or numbers to that is just a disaster for remembering the password.
Generally we hear stories about people who used simple and easy to remember words or phrases as their password getting hacked, and the blame falling on that easy to remember password. Due to this tendency of password selection, people often find themselves locked out of their email accounts or something more important.
To help remedy this prevalent problem in today’s day and age, we have created a simple four-step list to abide by when creating passwords that will greatly improve the security of your accounts!
- Special characters and capitalization- Most all websites require this already to even create the password, but what we want to emphasize is a more creative use of these characters. For example, instead of using the exclamation mark “!”, try one of the other special characters and place them in the password in an unexpected location rather than at the end of the password. The exclamation mark is the most commonly used special character, and almost always used at the beginning or end of the password.
- False Information on Security Questions- Security questions are supposed to be a backup option to help recover your password when you forget it. However, as hackers got more resourceful these questions became a liability rather than a security. Most all people can find the answer to these security questions with a quick scan through someones social media page and render your accounts useless. To work around this, try creating answers that are false, for example “what was your pets first name?” Normally the answer would be “spot” or something, but instead have the answer be something you can remember and that others cannot find, like “Gluteus Maximus”.
- Four-word Quote or Phrase- “Ima/Steal/All/Pineapples” can be a more secure password than Onomatopoeia2! This is because an eight-letter word isn’t all that hard for hackers to break into. Rather than just a single word password that is long, try making your passwords into unconventional phrases or quotes. Avoid popular sayings and the never dying quotes like “Luke I am Your Father”. This will create a strong password as a base, and then incorporating some special characters and numbers will really secure the password and your important accounts!
- Checking the Strength of your Password- To see how well your password holds up, you can always check it with the many available password analyzers which will pit your password against millions of known passwords and offer suggestions if needed to make yours stronger.
Using these tactics when creating passwords will allow for a strong security on your accounts and an ease of mind when hearing news about security breaches. Taking the extra time to secure a strong password is always important and rewarding, be sure to take your security seriously!