Today, most of us have created accounts for many different websites, and each of our accounts must be protected by a password.
You have probably heard or read that it’s important to create a strong, unique password for each of your online accounts. After all, if someone steals or guesses even just one of your passwords, they might be able to steal your money, or your identity. Those who work in the IT service sector will know the importance of a strong password and the dangers of a vulnerable password.
Creating a strong password might be a bit more tricky than you imagine, so you should check out these strong password ideas to help you get started.
1. Don’t use the same password on each of your online accounts
Creating a great password and using it for each of your online accounts might seem like strong password ideas, but it’s not. Of course, it will be easier to remember than having to deal with multiple passwords. But if a hacker guesses it, they will instantly have access to all your accounts.
Since you don’t want this to happen, you need a unique password for each of your accounts.
2. Don’t include personal information in your passwords
You should never include personal information in your passwords, as this might only make them easier to guess for someone with bad intentions. A hacker trying to guess your password might already have access to your phone number, your home address, and your birthday.
You should also avoid using the name of your pet as a password, or any other information that might be easy to guess for someone who might be spying on your online activities.
3. Don’t choose an obvious password
Did you know that many people actually use the word “password” as their password? This is a serious mistake, as this password is easy to guess, even for an unexperienced hacker.
You should also avoid obvious series of characters such as “12345”, “54321”, or “abcdefg”, as hackers can easily guess those weak passwords.
4. Include at least 12 characters
All strong password ideas should contain at least 10 or 12 characters. The longer a password is, the more difficult it would be for someone to guess it. But long passwords can also be easy for you to forget…
Your strong password should also include numbers, capital letters, and symbols. Who not add an emoji at the end or at the beginning?
5. Avoid using dictionary words
Hackers often use a password cracker, which is a software that will try different combinations of characters until it finds the right one to break into an account. If your password is a dictionary word, the password cracker will have no trouble finding it.
You should also avoid obvious word combinations. For example, the word “smiley” would make a bad password, but choosing “smileyface” as a password is not a better idea.
6. Choose a few random words
If you want to choose dictionary words for your password, be sure to create random word associations. For example, “bleaksmileytable” would make a better password than “smileyface”.
If you have trouble coming up with random words, you could simply open up a book, point a random word, and add it to your password. Put a few random words together, add a few numbers and symbols, and you should have some strong password ideas.
7. Use a sentence that only makes sense for you
Instead of using random words, you could use a short sentence that makes sense to you, but isn’t as obvious as your birthday or the name of your pet.
For example, your sentence could be “I really hate waking up on Sunday morning!”. Your password could contain the first two letters of each of these words, which would give you IrehawauponSumo!”.
8. Don’t hesitate to misspell the words
Whether you use a series of random words, or a short sentence, don’t hesitate to misspell at least a few words to make them more difficult to guess. You could also use abbreviations, and replace a few letters with numbers.
Of course, you could also invent new words that don’t exist in the dictionary, but you might have a hard time remembering them afterwards.
9. Avoid obvious substitions
While replacing letters with numbers or symbols are strong password ideas, try to avoid obvious substitions. For example, replacing “o” with “0” is too obvious, and replacing “s” with “$” has definitely been done many times before.
Instead, replace a letter with a number or a symbol that has nothing in common with it.
10. Make sure you can remember your password
Creating a strong password is not the most difficult part of securing your online accounts. The hardest part might be to remember all the passwords you have created.
If you can’t make up strong passwords that are easy for you to remember, you should consider using a password manager which will remember your different passwords for you. But of course, you will need a strong password for your password manager, too.