How to Easily Create Strong Passwords

As a follow up to yesterday’s post How Quickly Can Your Password be Cracked?, I’m writing today about how to create and store strong passwords.

My favorite way is to pick a sentence, use the first letter of every word, throw in some random numbers and characters.

For example:

I love to ride horses through the snow.

I  l  t  r  h  t  t  s

To mix it up further, make some of the letters uppercase and some lower case.

Next, add some characters like a star at the beginning and the pound sign at the end – maybe even something in the middle. Your password becomes:

* I L 2 R 3 h t t S #

That way you’re not remembering a lot, just one sentence, actually. And, if you have a system to use like 1Password, you can use your creative password to get into that and let it store all the others for you. You end up with only one password to memorize, but have an unlimited number of them created and stored for you.

You should also lock your computer and use your long password to unlock it every time you start it up. That’s it – one memorized password but unique passwords for everything you use.

I’ve read other suggestions that you may want to implement. For example:

  • Pick random characters from the keyboard !@#$%^&*()_+}{~?><|\/= (you get the idea), and simply add a couple to the beginning and/or end of your password.
  • Replace certain letters with numbers. For example, use the number 3 instead of the letter E; use the number 0 instead of the letter O; use the number 1 instead of the letter I.
  • Randomly make some of the letters in your password uppercase, some lower case.

By mixing and matching the special characters, numbers, uppercase and lower case letters, you’ve created a very strong password. Easy for you to memorize, hard for hackers to crack.

The more variation you use and the longer the password you create, the more difficult it is to figure out. Difficult to crack, but not difficult to memorize.

Now, go make some secure passwords!

What suggestions can you share?


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