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How to Choose a Secure Password

For almost every account that you make online, you are required to make a ''secure'' password. Choosing one that people can't figure out is a matter of creating unlikely letter and number combinations. Here is a guide on to how-to make a hard-to-crack password.

  1. Use length to your advantage. Create a password that has eight or more characters since this is usually the minimum for most password requirements. The longer the password the more secure it is likely to be.
  2. Form a "random" sequence of words and/or letters. Create a phrase or series of letter that is seemingly "random" but is easy to remember. Call this your "base-word."

    Example: My children are Jessie, Cassey, Michael and Jenny, so my base-word becomes "jecamije".

    Example: My first house was on Spooner Street becomes "houseonspooner"

  3. Add numbers to the base-word to make it more secure.

    Example: Add the ages of the children to the end making it "jecamije22191612".

    Example: Add the house number to the end of the base-word to create "houseonspooner1500".

  4. Use punctuation and symbols to "complicate" it further.

    Example: Add random punctuation to create "jecamije_22191612".

    Example: Add a symbol to the word to make "houseonspooner#1500".

  5. Create complexity with upper and lowercase letters.

    Example: Take advantage of adding capital letter to create "JeCaMiJe22191612".

    Example: Add the house number to the end of the base-word to create "houseonSpooner1500".

  6. Generate similar but altered passwords. Use the same or similar base-words to help you remember your passwords easily without making them "too" easy to crack.

    Example: "JeCaMiJe_22191612" can become "mykidsJeCaMiJe-90807060" or "12161922*JeCaMiJe".

    Example: "HouseonSpooner#1500" can become "1500*myfirstHouseonSpooner" or "***15HouseonSpooner00".

Tips

  • Don't use obvious base-words like a name, birthday or date, these are easier to crack than whole phrases.
  • Don't use your name, it will be easy to crack!
  • Change your passwords periodically or whenever it may have become compromised. Frequent password changing is required by company policy or federal law in some businesses, but may encourage users to choose weaker passwords or write down their password near their computers. Don't re-use an expired password.
  • Mixing in numbers and letters (E.G.: j78hu5948h0gy67g) can almost be impossible to crack, so try using that tip. If you're afraid you'll forget your password, write it down in a secure place where you won't forget it.
  • Take a word (for example, money), spell it backwards (yenom) and put your birthdate in between. Say you were born February 5, 1974. So it would be yfebe5n19o74m. Hard to remember, yes, but also nearly impossibly to crack.
  • For even more security, try to use "nonsense words." Combine these with numbers to make memorable, secure passwords. For example, "brickbeak9468."
  • If you have trouble remembering all the passwords you need, try using a password manager, they can store all your passwords securely using a single master password.

 

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