Creating a secure password, and one that you will remember!

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Creating a secure password, and one that you will remember!

We all know how annoying it is to try and come up with a password that is not only secure but that is memorable. It also seems like almost every week another company has been hacked and passwords stolen.

In the continuing battle to create unique passwords, I’m sure many of us end up with variations on a theme. If the ones below look familiar… read on!

  • Football clubs
  • Family names
  • Pet names
  • Date of Birth

A recent attack on Adobe has revealed how insecure many people’s passwords are. The list below highlights the most common passwords found in the Adobe breach.

  • 123456
  • 123456789
  • password
  • admin
  • 12345678
  • qwerty
  • 1234567
  • 111111
  • photoshop
  • 123123
  • 1234567890
  • 000000
  • abc123
  • 1234
  • adobe1
  • macromedia
  • azerty
  • iloveyou
  • aaaaaa
  • 654321

Perhaps even some of those look familiar!

So what goes into creating a strong password?

  1. Ideally you should look to have a minimum of 8 characters. The reason for this is that length is the only factor that will exponentially increase the time it takes for a password to be cracked.For example, the password “!24Thp*” may look secure but in fact “applerunningseatablebasket” is a more secure choice.
  2. Include uppercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  3. Exclude any personal information, for example dates of birth, favourite football teams, and spouse’s names.
  4. Don’t write your passwords down! Instead, make an abstract note that will jog your memory but give nothing else away.
  5. Create a new password for every account you own.
  6. Don’t reuse passwords. Once you know a password has been broken, or you have been notified by a company that there is the possibility of your password having been compromised, abandon it. It’s highly likely that broken passwords end up being added to a list for future dictionary attacks.

So, with all that in mind, how can I come up with a safe password?

A security expert named Bruce Schneier created a method in 2008 that he still recommends today.

‘Combine a personally memorable sentence with some personally memorable tricks to modify that sentence into a password to create a lengthy password.’

For example:

Wtdo3sacamerat@ke?Ptrs! – What does a camera take? Pictures!

Grt!Iluvthew33kEND –  Great! I love the weekend!


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