aNewDomain.net — If remembering a password isn’t difficult enough, creating a strong password can be downright frustrating for many, and some online services are requiring users to change their passwords at specified intervals.
Here are some tips & resources for creating strong passwords:
Microsoft’s Safety & Security Center: Create strong passwords is a great resource with some simple guidelines for creating a password that is difficult to crack. Their site even has an online password test utility to test the strength of your password.
Do not use words in the dictionary. For more information on this, check out The Top 500 Worst Passwords of All Time from Mark Burnett’s book Perfect Passwords. Additionally, do not use words spelled backwards, or use common misspelled or abbreviated words. Avoid repetition and sequences such as 12345 and abcde. Most importantly never use personal identification such as your birthdate, address, drivers license, social security number, etc.
Keep in mind the length of the password, which should be at least 8 characters. The more characters, the more difficult it is to crack the right password and using a passphrase (using 2 or more words), omitting the spaces between each word.
example: MyPasswordIsStrong (Password Strength: Strong)
One of the most effective methods is to increase the complexity of the password by using a variety of letters, numbers, symbols and punctuation. Substituting numbers and symbols for letters is a good way to increase the complexity of an easy to remember password.
example: MyP@$$w0rdi$$trong! (Password Strength: Stronger)
Categorizing your online accounts may help in keeping multiple passwords straight. Consider categories such as Personal (health insurance), Financial (banking, paypal, ebay, amazon, etc), Social (facebook, twitter, pinterest, linkedin), General (gmail, AOL, AIM), and use the first character of each category at the end of your password to differentiate it.
example: MyP@$$w0rdis$strong!_P (Password Strength: Best)
While changing your password monthly may be cumbersome, one easy way is to keep the same basic password and change one character based on the month using the symbol above the corresponding number (as shown in Table 3).
example: MyP@$$w0rdis$strong!_^ (Password Strength: Best)
Mathematically and technically strong passwords are difficult to guess, even using a super computer. Most security breaches are due to other security flaws, where an entire database of user accounts is compromised. One way to combat this is to register your email address(s) with Should I Change My Password, which will alert you whenever a security breach has been reported to their site.
Online security may be far from perfect (or secure), however using strong passwords goes a long way towards protecting your online life.Tags: Security,Technology