Choosing a secure password is a matter of creating unlikely letter and number combinations. The more obscure your password, the tougher it will be to crack.
- Do NOT use words or phrases that have personal significance.
- Mix letters, numbers and symbols, and use case sensitivity. With pseudo-random alpha-numeric combination, it is almost impossible to “crack” somebody’s password. (i.e. instead of “password,” try “pAsS34%(6*2woRd,” etc.)
- Try to memorize the password, and avoid writing it down. Somebody could very easily find the slip of paper that the password is written on.
- The longer the better. Don’t make a password that’s less than 6-8 characters. Anything less can be deduced from brute force software.
- Do not use the same password for everything. If someone finds this password, they would have access to everything. At the very least, make at least one password for sensitive things (i.e. online banking, etc.) and one for everything else (AIM, email, etc.).
- Do not try to follow all the above “rules”, combined. They are simply contradicting, not practical and you will end up in the mad house. Choose one or two and follow them with a critical mind.
- Let us suppose you have 5 email accounts, 3 Operating system passwords, 3 bank accounts (each with username, password, extra security pin), 10 internet forum user/passes, 1 cellular phone (uses 2 to 4 pins), should? (if you are a programmer or db administrator, multiply the total by 3). Say for each of one you chose a variation of “pAsS34%(6*2woRd,”. Try to memorize 20 of those gibberish sequences! Ohhh very easy. Do not write them anywhere! the longer the better! try 15 chars long to be safe! do not use the same for 2 purposes!
- Use a password manager (PM). It is a utility that creates an encrypted file where your passwords are stored. To open the file you need ONE password. Once open, you don’t even need to know the pass. Just click copy my pass, and paste it in your browser. Find a PM that’s freeware and open source so you dont have to pay for every new version, and if your good you can play with the source and create your variation. Find one that does not need to be installed in your system (will work just by copying the executable to any folder, any pc, any storage medium: cdrom, hard disk, usb flash stick). An example is PIN http://www.mirekw.com/winfreeware/pins.html.
- If possible, try to use “nonsense words.” Combine these with numbers to make memorable, secure passwords. For example, “brickbeak9468.”
- If possible, try to create an algorithm that is unique for each site. This way all you have to memorize is the algorithm, yet the password will be different for each site. Make sure the algorithm is sufficiently difficult to decipher if someone were to find one of your passwords.
- If you are so inclined, scripture references make good passwords. Choose a passage you can remember and use the reference for your password. An example would if you chose The Beattitudes, your password could be Matt5:1-12.
How to Choose a Secure Password