As more and more of our lives move online, the need to maintain a secure computing environment is critical. Creating a password isn’t good enough, it needs to be a STRONG password. A common misconception, however, is many think a strong password is hard to remember.
Not true and, I have some good news for you. Today I’ll review how to create an easy to remember, yet rock-solid password.
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How to Create a Strong, Secure Password
- Use a passphrase.
- The great thing about a passphrase is it’s long, it’s not a dictionary word and in some cases, it’s easy to include special characters which are tough to guess for both a human and a computer trying to compromise your password via Brute Force. For example, a previous password I’ve used recently was: my Laptop is black and ugly! – Wow, a 28 character password that’s easy to remember (I just look at my laptop) and nearly impossible to guess or hack (unless you look at my laptop). Some services out there like Twitter don’t allow spaces in passwords so you might need to adjust it from time to time. I also recommend adding a numeric character if you’re particularly paranoid and don’t normally use two-factor authentication for your online accounts.
- Use a password management tool
- There are two Password managers we suggest here at groovyPost. LastPass and 1Password. Both are fantastic, modern tools that not only will they help you create long and strong passwords, but they also store them securely online so you can access your passwords securely across all your devices.
- Regarding which one is best, I use 1Password at home and LastPass at work. So, both are great. If you have a family, however, I do like the 1Password Family plan. It’s easy to use and it just works on all my family’s devices.
- A secure password is a unique password.
- As tempting as it might be, never ever use the same password on multiple websites. Sharing passwords between sites is like playing Russian Roulette. All it takes is one website hack to ruin your day, especially if that password is used across all your online accounts. Add a layer of security to your online footprint by using unique passwords on every website. This is another reason why I use a password manager. Each password is unique and 1Password warns me if I accidentally re-use a password on more than one site.
- Don’t use dictionary words.
- Yeah I know, your kids are cute, but their names make horrible passwords as do months of the year, movie titles, and cute furry pets. Dictionary words are easy to guess, and they’re about a million apps out there that specialize in attacking accounts using dictionary words in all known languages. The only exception to this rule is using dictionary words in a passphrase as mentioned above.
- Like most valuables possessions in life, passwords need maintenance.
- In other words, if you’ve been using the same password for a while, change it. Again, using a passphrase, you shouldn’t have a problem coming up with a simple, unique phrase you can easily remember. If you don’t know how to change some of your account passwords, no worries. Here are a few of our most popular guides for changing your Amazon, Facebook and Twitter password.
- Contrary to popular belief, passwords written on a yellow sticky, hidden under a keyboard does not make it secure. So, don’t do that! In almost all cases, if the worst happens and you forget your password, you can almost always reset it using your email address.
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When it comes to online security, multiple layers are required. One of the most important layers is two-factor authentication. It’s a bit more complex, however, as always, we have step-by-step guides to walk you through the procedure. Do you know someone who uses really bad passwords online? Do them a favor and share these tips with them today!