How to choose a secure password

Good morning everyone, today is Valentines day. So happy Valentines day. I did not manage to get up early to treat my special someone to a surprise visit this morning. But alas all is not lost, I will do something special for her a bit later.

I have recently decided to change the theme of my blog to IT Security. I did an email course by a guy by the name of John Sonmez (http://simpleprogrammer.com) on how to create a blog. And this blog is the end product of the course, but yet the beginning of this blogging journey for me. To sign up for the course yourself follow the following link: http://devcareerboost.com/blog-course/

Ok, lets jump right into it. How to choose a secure password. Well these days the most common form of computer security are passwords. They are everywhere, we use a password to log into Facebook, to log into our Gmail, to log into our internet banking. Passwords have become the keys of the 21st century.

With passwords giving access to so much of our personal information, and yes to our money, we need to ensure that the passwords we are choose to protect our information are strong, so that it is not easily guessed or easily cracked.

Here is a list of pointers that can help you create a secure password.

1. Make sure your password is a decent length. Your password should be at least 8 characters in length. The longer your password is the more secure it will be.

2. Rather use a random sequence of letters than whole words. Avoid using whole words, as crackers can just run a dictionary on your password to crack it, and is also easier for people to guess. Rather create a random sequence of letters by using your own formula, in my example I use the first couple of letters of names. So if your children’s names are Mark, Peter and Timothy you could use something like: marpetim.

3. Use numbers to make your password more secure.
Mixing numbers into your password makes it stronger. Example: mar1pe2tim3

4. Use symbols to make your password even more secure. Some sites actually require you to use symbols in your password. Example: mar1pe2tim3@456

5. Use Upper and lowercase letters to add extra complexity .
Example: Mar1Pe2Tim3@456

I hope that this has helped you to create more secure passwords. Leave a note for me if this has helped you or been inspirational.

  • soload00

    Hi Peter,

    I enjoyed your article, good advice!
    I must admit I have been frustrated in the past by web sites insisting on strong passwords, Nedbank was a case in point, it took me ages to figure out a password that met their standards for a suitably strong password, and then I had to write it down, as there was no way I would have remembered it.

    What do you think of password keepers? I downloaded an app for iPad called Keeper, it wasn’t bad, but what happens if you lose the master key, unlikely in my case, as it was a very simple 4 digit PIN, or worse the app crashes?

    For the time being I think I will stick to my standard password, your blog registration rated it as Very Weak!

    Best regards,

    Adrian

  • peter

    Adrian,

    Thanks for the comment. Personally I use a password keeper for my personal sites as I have so many I can’t remember all the passwords.

    I do think that it’s a security threat of your laptop or phone is stolen. As if the thief is able to crack your password then they have access to all your passwords. But I think that risk is low. I use a program called keepass which works quite well.

    I have a password that I use for general websites and then I have another stronger password which I use for sites where more security is needed. And then a very strong password for banking. It’s all the random websites that I use a password store.

    I hope that helps,
    Cheers
    Pete

  • Pingback: Password keepers, my thoughts… | NextSteps()

  • Graeme Seals

    There is a good TED talk on this topic. Lorrie Faith Cranor: What’s wrong wit your pa$$w0rd?

  • Thanks Graeme, I have have a look at this talk it sounds interesting.