How To Create an Effective Password

By Joseph Albanese

Why Should I Even Remember My Password?

Check out KeePass as a way to manage your passwords.

Passwords are slowly becoming obsolete as recognition technology becomes more dominant for signing in. Fingerprint scanners are used to sign into laptops. I use facial recognition through my webcam on my laptop to sign in. Also, passwords don’t even need to be memorized anymore. Most browsers store your password and sites allow you to be signed in constantly. There are programs that store your passwords; requiring only a master password to access the rest. Why even bother with creating your own password when generator programs exist that do it for you? The answer is creating multiple passwords that have meaning to you when you don’t have the program or the place you wrote the password down immediately available to you can cause a great number of problems. If you are on another computer or not at home and you need to sign into your bank account to pay a bill but can’t because you can’t remember which password you used, this could be problematic. What if your Facebook account, email addresses, and Twitter account were all hacked because you used a password that was easy to memorize but also easy to crack? Hopefully, the information provided here will allow you to consider passwords that you create more carefully and also assess the strength of the passwords that you already have.

Understanding What A Good Password Is

The key to a good password is a string of letters and numbers that are memorable, recognizable, and relevant to you. The best password is something that is completely unique, not in the dictionary, contains upper and lower case letters and numbers and symbols, doesn’t have any personal information in it, isn’t part of the username, isn’t shared with anyone, isn’t the same password as another account, is changed constantly, and is long. This is all fine and good for becoming almost unhackable, but isn’t very practical when considering everyday usage. I suggest taking these precautions with sensitive passwords for accounts like banking. If you can create a different password for each account you have and remember them all, then be my guest. Password Manager programs and browser password storage make this very easy, but so does creating a memorable password.

How To Create an Effective Password

One approach to creating a password is to take two or three unrelated words and add a couple numbers at the end of them. Starting with a adjective can make it easier to finish the rest of the password. Let’s take for example, ‘green’. Then we can take a noun that doesn’t have significance to us, isn’t also or always green, and isn’t a common thing. For now, we will make an adequate password and use the next word as ‘TV’. TVs aren’t known for being green, but are a common item. However, the perks of using an acronym are that they are easy to remember and use capital letters. Remember, though, that hacking software uses popular acronyms, so consider creating your own. Next, let’s use another noun or possibly a verb. TVs don’t normally grow on their own, so let’s use ‘growing’. Green things like plants are normally associated with growing, so this will lead you to remember this word. But related things make it easier for hacking software and even for people you know to figure out, so be careful. Once again, randomly generated passwords are best for security, so use good judgment when creating a password. A balance between security and memorability are important. Putting part of the username or personal information that is easily obtainable is not safe at all, even if it is pretty memorable. Now, back to our password. Since a green TV is growing in front of our eyes, this might be alarming and warrant a ‘!’. We now have three pretty unrelated words, some capital letters, and a symbol. A couple digits would wrap this password up nicely. Now, try to do your best in using numbers that aren’t in sequence or repeated (e.g., 123, 555) or that pertain to personal information (if you were born on the 19th, don’t use 19). It is hard to come up with a good, unique number, so just use a lucky number if you have one that no one knows or that applies to the password. Maybe your TV was bought at $369.90. Once again, hacking software can probably guess a pricing format so let’s mix it up a little. Let’s omit the price sign to get ‘369.90’. The decimal might also need to be removed, and the $ could be put back in, but it is also preference. So our final password (which I have and never will use, same should go for you since I hope people are reading this blog) is greenTVgrowing!369.90 According to Microsoft’s Password Checker, this password is ranked as the highest strength! This is a very basic tool to use to see if your passwords are adequate, but doesn’t ensure security. Microsoft also has a random password generator available if you want the absolute most secure password generating method.

Keep Password Safe and Secure

Make sure to keep that awesome password out of the wrong hands.

Now that we have created a super awesomely long and unique password, (which I hope you are NOT using for any account) we can take a look at how to make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

  • Don’t tell anyone your password – You probably figured this out, but seriously. If someone knows a password and for some reason you use that same password or parts of it for another account, your entire internet security could be compromised because you wanted to share your Netflix account.
  • Don’t use the same password for multiple sites – What’s the purpose of a unique password if you use the same one to log in every account? This is a dangerous compromise of security since if one account’s password is bypassed, a chain reaction of bypassing can occur.
  • Don’t use part of your username, email, or account as password – This is just an easy way for programs to bypass your password and if you followed the steps above, you should know this.
  • Don’t save the password through your browser if your computer isn’t safe – After creating your password, it is easy to have the browser remember it, which is okay. But if people can easily access your computer, they don’t even need your password if your browser remembers it or a website lets you stay signed in. Have a password be used to sign into your computer or set a browser Master Password.
  • Make sure to change your password regularly – I know, I know. You spent a lot of time creating a creative password and now it is 6 months later. You don’t want to change it. But to maximize security, be sure to take this extra step.

I’m hoping that this post has questioned and addressed how to create passwords and the significance of a password that is easy to remember, but that is also secure and unique to each account. If I missed anything, something is inaccurate, something is unclear, or you like this post, be sure to comment below and also follow my blog.
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Published by fierytechtips

Joseph is a junior at Northeastern University and enjoys technology and helping others use tech more efficiently.

4 thoughts on “How To Create an Effective Password

  1. Here is another example of using a secure password that you can easily remember and be very secure. Think of a phrase or sentence that you can remember easily.
    Like “I think about Taylor Swift 2 times a day and is rocking hot !”
    Now your password would be the first letter of each word. Then the sentence would transpose to “ItaTS2tadairh!”.

    Now if you want to use the same password for multiple websites you could try this. For any website use the first 3 or 4 letter of its name. Like facebook “fac” , gmail “gma”, yahoo “yah” then add your phrase to the beginning or end. For facebook it would look like this facitaTS2tadairh! or itaTS2tadairh!fac for gmail gmaitaTS2tadairh! or itaTS2tadairh!gma for yahoo yahitaTS2tadairh! you get the picture.
    Keep up the good work Joe;), wait that could be a password “Kutgwj;)”

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