Creating Strong Passwords

Password security is repeated concern as we see news story after news story about information hacks. We outline in this article the best ways of making it difficult to fall victim to a Brute force attack and strategies for creating strong passwords.

Creating a password can be a frustrating task, especially when you’re constantly reminded that you must use a unique, hard to guess, random password for each service. Not only that, but you are expected to memorise it too!

The ingredients to a high quality password are a mix of letters (lower and upper case), length, numbers, and special characters; with no association to any personal information. Something like this: yUFkX4!Ez.

Three tips to create a good quality password:

  1. Minimum of 10 random characters long

    The longer your password is, the harder it will be for the scammers to work it out

  2. Include numbers, symbols, upper case and lower case letters

    Use a variety of all these characters in a random order to make the password more secure. For example, instead of Doughnuts1 use D0ughNut5@reTheBe$t!:)

  3. Avoid names, places and common words

    When creating a password, the first thing that normally pops into ones head is the name of a loved one or a recent location. Be more creative…those passwords are easily hacked.

A good secure password has all of these tips randomly combined.

strong passwords

How to remember your strong passwords:

With such a random string of characters, it’s pretty difficult to memorise the passwords for all of your different accounts. One method to make it easier to remember is to take a sentence and turn it into a password. For example:

Ch3t3r!5ThePl4ce2B! = Chester is the place to be
C0py!ngI$Fl4ttery! = Copying is Flattery

Don’t use the same password twice.

Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that services you use are being attacked constantly and it’s inevitable that the bad guys will get access to one of the services you use and run away with the entire database of usernames and passwords. Hopefully, your passwords will be stored encrypted (which should make it hard for the hackers to read your actual password), however assume that they are not and that they have your password. If you’ve used that password for other services, you’ve got problems.

The solution is to use different, complex passwords for every different service. Ideally, you would memorise each one, but that may not be practical. Help is at hand with software such as 1Password, KeePass and Password Safe.  

These software programs are able to generate strong passwords and save them in one hub accessible by a single master password (which you make sure is highly complex!).

Creating a strong password will provide an extra layer of security on your information. Whether you turn sentences into passwords or use a program like 1Password or KeePass, we highly encourage you to update your password to be more complex.