All online activity depends on passwords. With everything that you can achieve online, it is not uncommon that you find yourself needing credentials for tens or hundreds of different websites. The risk faced is increased if your own an online based business. The question then remains how to create a strong password that will keep hackers out of your accounts. It all depends on your level of creativity but here are some tips that will go a long way in helping you create strong passwords to keep your data safe.
1. Use a minimum of EIGHT characters
It is the opinion of many experts that passwords should be at least 8 characters long and in fact, many websites you will register to require passwords that have a minimum of eight characters. There are two reasons why 8 id the magical number:
– It is easy to remember.
– It is difficult to crack.
Every character beyond the first eight increase the difficulty levels for both hackers and yourself. You could therefore have a 30 character password but only if you are sure you will remember it a few months or years down the line. Also note that not all systems allow spaces in passwords. In such cases, these gaps can be replaced by numbers or special characters.
2. Avoid Dictionary words
Using words from a dictionary that are properly spelled is usually considered bad practice when it comes to passwords.
For example: It is a bad idea to have “password” or “123456” as your password because it is easy to hack.
Several hacking programs are by design created to force words beginning with words that are in the dictionary. What you once thought was cleaver could give someone easy access to your information. If the word you choose is related to your personal life or business in any way, this could easily be the case.
3. Keep away from Family names
Names of spouses, pets, and children should never be used as passwords because they are very easy to guess. It is also most probably the first thing that most hackers will attempt when trying to gain access to your information. While these names are quite easy for you to remember, they could also be your downfall if the person hacking you knows your family. If you must use the name of someone you will remember, it is better to go back in time and find the name of an ancestor.
4. Include Special characters in Passwords
This is a trick that most people make use of: using special characters to replace certain letters in a word. This makes it easy for you to remember the name or word. To do this, type out the word and then find characters that look similar on your keyboard. You will find that several letters can be easily swiped to make your password much more secure.
For example: instead of using the name “DungHoang” as your password, you could replace some letters with special characters that look alike to make it “Du#gHo@n9”.
5. Use Passphrases instead of words
When compared to a word, passphrases are easier for you to remember but are harder to crack. These can be titles of books you love, favorite sayings, or anything that is made up of more than one word. After you replace some letters with look-alike characters, the passphrase becomes almost impossible to break. Just make sure that it is not a phrase that you normally say to people.
For example: the password to your social profile could be “!l0v3myf@m!ly.” if you look closely, you will see the phrase “I love my family” but with the spaces removed.Should read: 7 Signs That Your Database Has Been Hacked and How to Avoid It
6. Use numbers to finish off words
You could use numbers or special characters to finish off certain words or passphrases.
For example,: the phrase “I hate olive oil” could become “!h80l!v30!l!.”
While you are somehow limited in the numbers you can make, the limitation only depends on your imagination. Therefore, if you are very creative, it will be difficult for others to crack your password.
7. Consider favorite sayings
You can make one of your favorite quotes or phrases that uses a number to create a strong password.
For example: the line from the famous song “wake me up before you go” could become “w@kmeupb4ug0!.”
Using Bible verses is also another common method that people to create strong passwords. Condensing phrases or sentences could need lots of imagination depending on your choice of words but these passwords are usually very effective.
8. Replace vowels with numbers
If you would like to use a word that is easy for you to remember, you could consider removing the vowels and replacing them with a few numbers.
For example: if you are a horse lover, you could use the name of the 2016 Kentucky Derby “Mine That Bird.” if you remove the vowels and add the year he won at the end you will have “mnthbrd2016“.
It would be extremely difficult for anyone to hack this password given the numerous facts regarding the topic.
9. Reverse the website name
Reversing the name of a website you are signing up to can help you to remember the password for each account you own on different websites. If you go one step further and add special characters to your phrase, the password could be extremely difficult to crack.
For example: The password for your Facebook account could be “N3wC0up0nsInf0” after replacing “e” with “3”, and “o” with “0”. This is a great process because it aids you create a unique password for every site you are registered on.
10. Use a Password Generator
Many websites today offer password generating tools but there are also applications that you can download to your computer and mobile phones. These apps will usually generate completely random strings that are great for passwords. Because most of these tools create strings or random characters and of different lengths, this is one of the best methods of creating a password. The downside however is that they could be extremely difficult for you to remember without writing them down (which in itself is a security risk).
Secure Password Generator: http://passwordsgenerator.net/
The more complex a password you are using is, the more difficult it is for hackers to get your information. Unfortunately, this could also make it quite difficult for you to remember them. This is however a small price to pay for creating strong passwords that are hard to hack. It is always better to forget a password than to have your account hacked.