Passwords are the first line of defence in the digital world, and yet many people use horribly insecure and easy to guess passwords – the word “password” or “1234”, for example. Other common and insecure password choices include names, places, other basic plain-text words, or personally related dates – anniversary or birthday dates, for example.
Read on for a great little tip you can use now to make more secure passwords – easily… and actually remember them!
Those kinds of basic “passwords” are worthless, and using them is as secure as locking your front door using a key which can be bought in any store: completely insecure. The problem is that the rules for a secure password require longer and more complex passwords that are hard to guess or crack, but are also easy to forget.
Passwords must be as long, random and meaningless as possible… but we also have to remember them.
HOW TO MAKE MORE SECURE PASSWORDS
Instead of thinking of a “password” as a single word, consider the idea of “passphrases” – this simple change of perspective makes it very easy to create longer password.
Any saying or phrase that’s easy to remember, maybe a song that’s stuck in your head, a line from a book or film, or perhaps something funny or sweet that your grand-kids said.
Use the first letter of each word of the phrase, and add a combination of numbers of special characters throughout, and you’ll have an easy to remember but very hard to crack password.
This simple technique will make a huge difference to your overall security online – and the best part is that you can use any phrase or saying or sentence you like!
For example, imagine your 11 year old grandson Mark told you, “Grandma, I love your cooking the best!”. Lovely! That line will not be forgotten quickly! And we can use it like this to create a long, strong but easily remembered password: M11-“GIlyctb!”
In case you missed it, here’s what we did:
AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO MORE SECURE PASSWORDS
Another useful trick is to substitute numbers or special characters in place of letters, although it’s important to apply this technique together with the technique above, not only to a simple word. For example, use the number 0 instead of the letter O, 4 instead of the letter A, 3 instead of the letter E.
Imagine you were married in 1974 in Barcelona – an example could be 1974@B4rc3l0n4 – you can see how, by substituting a few numbers or special characters for letters and adding the date, you can easily remember your password while keeping yourself and your data protected and secure.
Also important to note is that you should never use the same password for more than one account, and never use a previously used password again – at least, not without editing it in some way first.
The reason to avoid this is simple: if a password is compromised and it is used along with the same email address somewhere else, #hackers will now have access to that account too. There you have a simple trick to easily make more secure passwords.
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