This is the second of a four-part series on passwords.
A strong password is an important part of your online security. It makes it impossible for hackers and online criminals to gain access to your accounts and transactions thus keeping you safe and secured. Although there are many ways to create a strong password, there three important factors that you must take into account if you want to create a strong password. These factors are Length, Composition and Complexity.
A strong password must not be too short i.e. should not be made up of less than 10 characters. Although there is no official password length standard, it is preferable that your password should be no shorter than 10 characters or longer than 30 characters. Short passwords can be easily deciphered, while those that are too long tend to be easily forgotten.
A strong password should consist of a variety of characters. When creating a password, make use of the entire keyboard, including the Shift, Ctrl and Fn keys. Passwords should not be limited to just letters and numbers – upper case letters, alpha-numeric characters, symbols and punctuation marks are all components of a strong password.
Simple passwords are not strong passwords. The more complex a password is, the more difficult it will be to decipher. Hackers tend to go for dictionary words because many computer users pick their passwords from a dictionary rather than creating words that are uncommon and cannot be found in dictionaries. If you are one of such users, it is time to change your password.
A simple way of creating a long, complex and secure password that is easy to remember is shown below.
- Choose a sentence from a favourite quote, book or movie. For example, I come in peace!
- Mix up the words by moving the first word to the middle and so on. in come I peace!
- Now join the words together and replace some letters with random characters from your keyboard as follows. 1ncOm3Ipe8se!
As phrases tend to be more difficult to hack than single words, you are on to a winner if you follow the above example. In addition, choosing your favourite quote makes it easier to remember. However, if you find that you still struggle to remember your passwords, you might have to create a memory device to remind you.
The next part of this series will discuss special tips on testing and protecting passwords.
There are many ways to create long, complex, safe and easy-to-remember passwords. Share yours with our readers.