There is no such thing as a perfect password. A committed hacker can crack any password, given enough time and the right “dictionary” or “brute force” tools. But just like breaking into a car, if the protection is strong enough, the hacker will become discouraged and pursue an easier target.
1. Start With a Base Word Phrase.
A good password starts with a base word phrase. Choose a memorable catchphrase, quotation, or easy-to-remember saying, and take the first letter from each word. Choose a phrase that is memorable to you.
Examples of some base word phrases:
* Can’t See the Forest Through the Trees: cstfttt
* Put Up or Shut Up: puosu
* If the Shoe Fits, Wear It: itsfwi
* You Can Lead a Horse to Water: yclahtw
* The Last Mile Is Always Uphill: tlmiau
* I Think, Therefore I Am: ittia
* Oh Say Can You See: oscys
* My Dog Quinnie Loves Mystery Suprises: mdqlms
Suggestion: try this list of acronym phrases you could use for inspiration
Suggestion: try this list of famous quotations and catchphrases
2. Lengthen the Phrase
Passwords start to become strong at 6 characters long. While a long password can be annoying to type, a long password really helps to slow down brute force hacker attacks.
Tip: lengthen your password by adding the website name or computer software name to the base phrase. For example:
Tech tip: passwords that are 15 characters and more are extremely strong, because Microsoft Windows will not store scrambled passwords in hidden files once they are 15 characters or longer.
3. Scramble the Phrase
Scrambling does not necessarily mean rearranging the letters. Rather, scrambling your password can effectively be achieved by swapping one or more of the password letters with a non-alphabetic character, and then purposely including uppercase and lowercase letters within the password. Scrambling creatively uses the shift key, punctuation marks, the @ or % symbols, and even semi-colons and periods. Using numbers as substitutes for letters is another strong scrambling technique.
Examples of scrambling:
4. Lastly: Rotate/Change Your Password Regularly
At work, your network people will require you to change your password every several days. At home, you should rotate your passwords as a matter of good computer hygiene. If you are using different passwords for different websites, rotate portions of your passwords every few weeks. Note that rotating parts of the password, not the entire passwords, will help deter hackers from stealing your phrases. If you can memorize three or more passwords at the same time, then you are in good shape to resist brute force hacker attacks.
5. Advanced Password Tips
There are several other resources for building strong passwords.
* See more samples of strong passwords here.
* See other personal password suggestions.
* A FREE online password generator.
* There are multiple drag-and-drop software tools that help you bypass hacker keylogger software.
Free tools like:
KeyWallet Password Manager
KeePass – a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way.
work well because you can avoiding typing your passwords entirely, and just let your mouse do the data entry.
* You can also employ a digital vault like Password Safe. This kind of software creates personal “lockers” to keep all your passwords locked under a master password.
* Or try phrasing tips for password generation.