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Saturday, February 15, 2014

What Everybody Ought to Know About Strong Passwords!

“Your Password Has Been Hacked!”


You’ve received the email. The email address is from someone you know. It’s your family or friend. But instead of a friendly greeting, or a picture… you get nothing but a link.

Or “Check this out: http://…” followed by a link.

How did these people get a hold of your friend or family members password? Usually it’s because they used a weak password that was easy to break.

But there are things you can do to make sure your password is not breakable. Or at least much more secure and probably not worth the effort.

Attribution Some rights reserved by Lulu Hoeller
Photo: Some rights reserved by Lulu Hoeller
 

The Not-So-Secret To Strong Passwords


Here are the keys to make your password as strong as it can be!

  • One each of the following at least, two each would be better.
    1. CAPITOL LETTER
    2. lower case letter
    3. Number (1234567890)
    4. Symbol/Character (! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) )

  • 8 characters long for a normal strong password.
If you have particularly sensitive data you could choose a longer password and more combinations of the four categories above.

  • Not a word or name, as found in the English dictionary.
Words can more easily searched by password breaking programs. One of the first things a password program might try to do is use words found in the dictionary.
Also, especially not a name of someone you know or love.

Pneumatic Devices and Other Memory Tricks


Now here’s the trick, if you string together 8-12 random letters and symbols you aren’t likely to remember it if you are an average person. Maybe a person with particularly good memory could. The rest of us need some memory tricks.

So maybe you will pick yourself a word, phrase, or something else that will be easy to remember. However, now you edit and change. Use a number for a letter, leave a letter out, choose a symbol for a letter.

So then, the word “red” becomes:
  • R3d
  • r3D
  • Rd
  • rD

And the word “and” becomes:
  • Ad
  • @nD
  • @D
  • &
So choose things that work for you. “MyFathers”, could be:
  • M^f@TH3r5

While a long and truly random set of numbers, letter, and symbols would be the best and strongest password, I hope this provides for you some ideas that will help you use a password you remember but matches the password requirements that make it stronger.

Now it's your turn.


Go practice on a Word Document or Notpad some password options that could work for you. 

    1. Don't save these to a file because if someone got them it would be counter productive, but practice some passwords that could work. 
    2. Test them here: http://www.passwordmeter.com

PS: Here's a link to another post by Printing By Design with some more ideas on creating good passwords: Click Here

Go leave a comment on the site. What other tricks do you know? What can you add to this conversation? 


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Published © Darrell G. Wolfe 


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I may also have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” A Big Thank You to Michael Hyatt for helping us Bloggers with these new legal disclosure requirements.


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