Making a Strong Password

Making a Strong Password
Beginner/Moderate
Robert Hritz

Passwords are tricky business. In most applications they are the only thing separating your data from a would be hacker. The idea of a password is simple and straightforward. A program or website authenticates who you are based on a secret string of characters. The tricky part is choosing a strong password. As a general rule, passwords should be easy to remember, but hard to guess.

Making a password that is easy to remember is the first part of the equation. If a password is so complex that you have to write it down to remember it then it is not a good password. Passwords are meant to be a secret string of characters shared only between you and the application.

Hackers have learned through years of trial and error that most passwords are based on personal facts. They have become clever by writing programs that can ‘guess’ passwords based off commonly used dictionary words. This means that dictionary words and dates should not be used in your password(s).

The solution to a strong password is a series of seemingly random characters that have meaning to you and no one else. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” can become “N@adktda.” In this case we substitute the “An” for “N” and the “a” in “Apple” becomes “@.” Changing up the way you substitute words and switching letters around will make your password much harder to guess, and who knows you might even have some fun while doing it!

For more information and tips on generating secure passwords you can view the articles below.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/tips-for-creating-a-strong-password

http://www.darkreading.com/risk-management/7-tips-to-toughen-passwords/d/d-id/1104754?

https://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/15-tips-to-better-password-security

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