Even the most secure application or network is unprotected against a weak or reused password. Despite this, a recent survey showed 21% of people use passwords that are over 10 years’ old and 54% of people use five or fewer passwords across their life.
To manage passwords today, most people need an excellent memory. Electronic devices and websites have password and security rules that make it difficult, not only for other people to guess your password, but also for the user to remember. Many people write their passwords down, use a password manager, or when all else fails, click the ‘forgot password’ link. All of this creates password friction, security risks, and wastes time when accessing accounts.
To create strong passwords that are easier to remember experts suggest using random phrases rather than strings containing symbols, characters, numbers, and letters.
1. Build your password phrase from a proper noun
Because passwords for most websites require a capital letter, choose a proper noun you can remember, such as the name of a pet, and then add a couple of memorable words that describe their looks, habits or personality. For example, the password “Milo scratch furry” would take hackers 266.8 trillion years to crack.
2. Add $1 to the end of your password phrase
To ensure you have a numeral and a character in your random keyword phrase, a simple trick is to add $1 to the end of your random phrase. “Milo scratch furry $1” would take hackers 43,052 quadrillion years to crack.
3. Add the website’s name to your password phrase
This advice may sound counter-intuitive, but it lets people give each online account a unique password. For example, “Milo Facebook scratch furry $1” would take hackers 39.37 decillion years to crack. If your password is now excessively long, simply remove one of the words. With the password “Milo Facebook furry $1”, hackers would still require 20.57 sextillion years to access your account.
Using strong passwords is a crucial counter-measure to prevent hackers accessing valuable personal, company or government data. By adopting good password habits, we will make our
networks and devices and our reputations safer.