Strong Password Tips – Ways to Increase Password Strength

With the World banking on passwords, the few characters ranging from four to twenty climb to the pedestal of “secrecy”, become indispensable and are the key to whether you\’ll be able to access your data, communicate with friends, or make your online purchases. Hence, naturally, strong password tips become the need of the hour. The problem is that passwords should be different everywhere you use them, and that can make it difficult to remember them all. And, if a password is truly strong, that makes it even more difficult. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful password guide. Follow these tips and tricks to take total control of your terms for access.

Let’s Start with the common problems first

Strong Password Tips - Ways to Increase Password Strength

Strong Password Tips | Common Problems with Passwords

  • Use Different Passwords Everywhere

This had to be the first of the strong password tricks. You might wonder : Why would you do this when it’s so easy to just type “fido” at every password prompt? Here’s why: If “fido” gets cracked once, it means the person with that info now has access to all of your online accounts. A study by BitDefender showed that 75 percent of people use their e-mail password for Facebook, as well. If that’s also your Amazon or PayPal password and it’s discovered, say good-bye to some funds, if not friends.

  • Remember the Underwear Analogy

The saying goes like this: Passwords are like underwear. You should change them often (okay, maybe not every day). Don’t share them. Don’t leave them out for others to see (no sticky notes!). Oh, and they should be sexy. Wait, sorry, I mean they should be mysterious. In other words, make your password a total mystery to others.

You can make your password sexy if you really want, however. I won’t judge 😉

  • Avoid Common Passwords

If the word you use can be found in the dictionary, it’s not a strong password. If you use numbers or letters in the order they appear on the keyboard (“1234” or “qwerty”), it’s not a strong password. If it’s the name of your relatives, your kids, or your pet, favorite team, or city of your birth, guess what—it’s not a strong password. If it’s your birthday, anniversary, date of graduation, even your car license plate number, it’s not a strong password. It doesn’t matter if you follow this with another number. These are all things hackers would try first. They write programs to check these kinds of passwords first, in fact.

Other terms to avoid: “god,” “money,” “love,” “monkey,” “letmein,” and for the love of all that’s techie, if you use “password” as your password, just sign off the Internet right now!!!

 

Strong Password Tips | Building the Strength

Strong Password Tips - Ways to Increase Password Strength

To create a strong password, you should use a string of text that mixes numbers, letters that are both lowercase and uppercase, and special characters. It should be eight characters, preferably many more. A lot more. The characters should be random, and not follow from words, alphabetically, or from your keyboard layout.

So how to make such a password?

1) Spell a word backwards. (Example: Turn “New Delhi” into “ihledwen.”)
2) Use l33t speak: Substitute numbers for certain letters. (Example: Turn “ihledwen” into “ihledw3n.”)
3) Randomly throw in some capital letters. (Example: Turn “ihledw3n” into “ihleDw3n.”)
4) Don’t forget the special character. (Example: Turn “ihleDw3n” into “ihleDw3^.”)

Other Strong Password Tips

Choose something simple to remember as a password, but whenever you type it, put your fingers on the wrong keys—maybe one key to the left or right. Then a password like “ihledwen” becomes “ugkwsqwb” . This is only going to work for non-perfectionist touch-typists. And skip this tip if you type passwords on your phone; you’ll only sprain a thumb trying to be inaccurate instead of letting the inaccuracy flow naturally.

Password Testing

Okay, you’ve read this guide on strong password tips but you’re worried that your password of choice isn’t strong enough. Don’t worry, you can check it at How Secure is My Password?. The site will even tell you how long the average PC would take to crack it. For example, cracking “ihledwen” would take 52 seconds, “ihledw3n” would take about 11minutes , “ihleDw3^” 3 days, and “ihleDw3^Z” about 275 days.

You can tell from these results that mixing capital and small letters are better for strength and more characters (eight instead of seven) also make a huge difference. Adding a single capital letter to the end of “ihleDw3^,” such as “ihleDw3^Z,” boosts the crack time to 275 days. Throw another special character in (“ihleDw3^Z!”) and it jumps to 58 years.

Password Tracking and Changes

It’s easy for me to say that “Now you’ve read these strong password tips, so you should use a strong password. I expect you to remember that messy non-word string of characters.” That’s reasonable! But how dare I suggest you use a different password on every site you visit and account you own. That’s madness!

Or is it? Here’s a simple trick that would make your already steroid-strong password even more muscular, while individualizing it for each entry. Simply take the first three letters of the site or service you’re entering and append them to the beginning or end of your strong password. On Amazon, you’d have “ihleDw3^AMA.” Your e-mail could be “ihleDw3^EMA.” Facebook would be “ihleDw3^FAC.” Notice I always use all caps for the appended letters, just to crank up the security. This can work for banks, shopping, social networks, you name it. It’s like creating a thousand passwords you can remember easily.

Every few months, you should change all of your passwords—everywhere. Even if you made a password that would take a few centuries to hack, you might have shared it with a co-worker or boyfriend or girlfriend, right? What happens when they become ex-coworkers or an ex-BF or ex-GF? Yeah, you can probably guess.

You could change your base (“ihleDw3”), which might be easy if you based it on an acronym for a longer phrase. Or you could change the appended letters by moving them to the front or even the middle (“ihleFACDw3^” for Facebook). Perhaps switch to the last three in the service name (“OOK” for Facebook.) You could even stick in the date of the change. It’s your call.

 

Strong Password Tips | Example of a Strong Password

Consider an example – Lets say you are a die hard Titanic fan and your favourite song is “My Heart Will Go On”. Now spelling it backwards wont make much sense here 😛

Let’s try another approach

1) Remove all the spaces (obviously! :P) , make the first and last letter capital : “MyheartwillgooN”

2) Now remove all the vowels except ‘e’ – change it to ‘3’ : “Myh3rtwllgN”

3) Throw in some special characters like “!@#$” (as they appear in order on keyboard) : “Myh3rt!@#$wllgN”

4) Now make different passwords using the above base : “EMAMyh3rt!@#$wllgN” for email,   “FACMyh3rt!@#$wllgNBOOK” for Facebook and so on.

 

Find this post on strong password tips useful? Feel free to share this post with your friends, family and co-workers so that their accounts are not so easy to crack. For any other suggestions/queries, use the comments section.

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