Strong Password Ideas To Stay Safe Online
Creating strong passwords for all of your accounts can feel time-consuming and difficult. It doesn't have to be that way.
Weak and easy-to-guess passwords make even the most sound cybersecurity strategy vulnerable. If a hacker guesses or cracks a password, the intruder can gain access to your account or system without raising an alarm, jeopardizing whatever asset you have hidden behind a password.
The following guide provides 12 strong password ideas to help you stay one step ahead of hackers. We also explain the difference between strong and weak passwords, offer suggestions for improving current passwords, and demonstrate the main methods hackers use to crack credentials.
Because your passwords grant access to your personal realm, you’re probably wondering ‘what are the best practices for creating a strong password’ to protect your accounts from these cybercriminals. If your passwords were compromised, you should change them right away.
The best passwords will withstand brute force and dictionary attacks, but they can also be made easy to remember. Use these password suggestions to secure your accounts.
So, what’s the answer? Passwords that are uncrackable. But, before we get there, let’s look at the various ways passwords can be hacked so you understand the most common methods in use today.
Let’s see how and what to do to set-up a strong password which may keep you safe online.
What does a bad password look like?
EXAMPLES OF WEAK PASSWORDS
- Any term that is recorded in a dictionary, regardless of language (e.g., apple or mango).
- A word from the dictionary in which some of the letters have been substituted with numbers (e.g., flight999 or flight111).
- A character that appears more than once or a string of characters (e.g., MMMMM or 12345).
- A string of characters entered using a keyboard (e.g., qwerty or poiuy).
- Particulars about an individual (e.g., birthdays, names of pets or friends, Social Security number, addresses, car numberplate).
Any password that is widely used by others should also be avoided, as hackers will attempt it on a regular basis. As a result of data leaks from previous website hacks, we (and hackers!) know what the most popular passwords are, with some of the most commonly used passwords being:
Among these are keyboard patterns, names, popular hobbies such as football, and “witty” passwords such as trustno1. On the trustworthy website security.org?, you can test how unique your password truly is – you might be surprised!
One popular “trick” that many of us have tried is to take a regular word and replace the letters with numbers and/or symbols, for example, f00tb@99. Unfortunately, this is almost as bad as the word football itself – hackers are aware of these tricks and will try them all (they can test thousands of combinations per second!). Adding a number or an exclamation mark to the end of a word is also ineffective.
And, just to make things even more difficult (as if it wasn’t already? ), remember to use a different password for each website and account you use. This is because if one of the websites you use is hacked, the attackers will have your login information and can use it to try again elsewhere. Making passwords unique can help prevent this.
Given all of this, it may appear that creating a strong yet memorable password is impossible! But don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it appears. Continue reading for suggestions on how to create a password that is both strong and easy to remember.
What characteristics distinguish a strong password?
A strong password is one that a brute force attack cannot guess or crack. Hackers use computers to try different combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols to find the correct password. Short passwords made up of only letters and numbers can be cracked in seconds by modern computers.
As a result, strong passwords are made up of a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols like punctuation. They should be at least 12 characters long, but we recommend making them even longer.
Even better, why not avoid the hassle of passwords entirely by using a password manager? These tools will generate and remember all of your passwords for you – it’s that simple! They’ll even automatically log you into websites.
Overall, here are the main characteristics of a good, secure password:
- Is at least 12 characters long. The longer your password is – the better.
- Uses uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special symbols. Passwords that consist of mixed characters are harder to crack.
- Doesn’t contain memorable keyboard paths.
- Is not based on your personal information.
- Password is unique for each account you have.
When creating an online account, you’ll frequently be reminded to include numbers or a certain number of characters. Some may even prevent you from creating a “weak password,” which is typically a single word or number combination that is simple to guess.
Even if you aren’t reminded to create a strong password, it is critical to do so whenever you create a new online account or change the password for an existing one.
Here I have top 12 strong password ideas to keep you safe online. Please read the following information and do accordingly.
Top 12 Tips for creating safe and secure passwords
Try one of these robust password ideas that are still simple enough to remember to make life difficult for hackers:
Ideas For New Password:
- Use 4 random words
- Choose an entire phrase
- Create acronyms
- Utilize the keyboard.
- Intentionally misspell words
- Create a formula
Strengthening your existing password:
- Add delimiters or brackets.
- Add a random word
- Restate the passphrase
- Create an email address for it
- Change a few letters around
- Include punctuation
1. Use 4 random words
Simply stringing together three or four random phrases is one of the easiest yet most secure password options. This should make for a highly strong password as long as it is at least 12 characters long and the words don’t naturally flow together (as, say, “ThisIsEmma” would).
Examples of effective passwords to employ, along with tips for remembering them, are as follows:
Eg remember: Ulm is the birthplace of the great scientist Albert Einstein, 0314 is the date of his birth and Deutschland is the other name for Germany from where he belongs to.
Eg remember: “I live in New York City, and drive past a famous race course on the way to my office”
Eg remember: “ABCD” order which could aid memory
Eg remember that Property dealer wear posh suits, deal in beach villas, and own Porsches
2. Utilize the keyboard to generate a strong and safe password
Using patterns of letters from the keyboard, such as asdfghjkl or qwerty, is not a good idea because these are quite frequent and simple for hackers to guess. However, there are still effective methods to use the keyboard.
Start with something simple, such as your new born baby’s name, e.g. “MarthaScot” (with at least 8 characters). Your password could then utilize the keys that are located above and to the right of your password’s letters:
- From: “MarthaScot”
Initially, typing may be difficult, but it will rapidly become second nature.
You might even build your own rule for selecting the appropriate keyboard keys, such as using the letters to the left or right of your chosen phrase.
Be cautious when traveling abroad, as some foreign keyboards rearrange some keys, particularly financial symbols and the @ key.
3. Create an acronym for a stronger password
Instead of typing out a full phrase, why not abbreviate it?
For instance, if you take the sentence “My wife was graduated from the Sothern California University in 2008,” you can create a strong and easy-to-remember password by choosing the initial letter of each syllable (“Mwwg@Scu2008”). Here are some more ideas:
From: I works in Hewlett-Packard from June, 2017
From: Passwords! They don’t have to be easy to crack
From: Newyork city is located nearly 80 miles west of New Jersey.
From: I bought my first car in the year of 2008!
It may take some time to become used to typing these, but after a while you’ll likely remember the password without needing to memorize the phrase it’s derived from.
Ensure that it is at least eight characters long and not a common phrase. Even if Shakespeare himself approves of “Tb,on2b,titq:,” hackers will try it due to the phrase’s popularity.
4. Use an entire phrase
If you have difficulty remembering a random string of words, consider using a phrase instead. Since the words in a phrase flow together, it must be lengthy, yet phrases can make excellent passwords so long as they are neither obvious or frequent.
Even without using numbers or symbols, the best approach to create a secure password is to simply make it longer, which a phrase naturally is. How about these examples of passwords:
- I catch the no. 63 metro 2 office
- Burgers taste nicer with pepperoni
You may choose to put spaces between the words if the page supports them.
5. Create a formula
If you have a mathematical mind, creating a password based on a formula or other logical statement may be a choice.
It’s not for everyone, but passwords of this type can be quite secure because they’re frequently lengthy and contain mathematical symbols that are uncommon in passwords.
The following are a few examples:
6. Add spaces or brackets
Did you know that spaces and brackets are frequently (but not always) suitable password characters? They are infrequently used, which makes them an excellent method for strengthening passwords.
How about breaking up your current password into pieces of letters with a few spaces between them? If your password was “Bristol98,” you could transform it into “Bri sto l98” by inserting a space after every third character.
You can also use brackets, thus “SeattleHuskys” can become “SeattleH(us)kys.” Consider using other sorts of brackets, such as or [. And if you’re feeling particularly daring, consider mixing them up by using ] or (.
Adding spaces or brackets may lengthen your password, introduce a new character set, and perhaps separate any dictionary words. Win-win-win!
- Was: Bristol98
- Now: Bri sto l98
- Was: SeattleHusky
- Now: SeattleH(us)kys
7. Use a deliberate misspelling
Carefully misspelling words on purpose can also be used to construct secure passwords. Try entering words as they are spoken, such as:
Since hackers’ password lists contain common misspellings (such as ‘acommodate’), the more obscure you can make your password, the better.
Avoid using anything basic and then substituting letters with similar appearances (eg an “0” for an “o”, or a “1” for “i”). The resulting password may appear secure and perhaps adhere to standard password principles, but it is not secure at all.
These are examples of passwords that are not secure:
In other circumstances, criminals can test billions of password variants each second and are aware of the most prevalent letter swaps.
8. Add a random word
Another way to make your password longer is to simply add another word; the more unusual the better. Even better if you purposefully misspell the word.
Assume your current password is based on your wife’s name and the year she was born, “Sarah1974”. Why not include something memorable, such as your hometown, but misspelled – for example, “Sarah1974Bristul”.
- Was: Sarah1974
- Now: Sarah1974Bristul
9. Turn it into an email address
An email address is a rather unusual password format. Because this is a password (rather than your contact information), it does not have to be a valid email address – your imagination is the only limit!
If your current Amazon password is “Apples,” why not use “me@Apples.amazon” as your password? This way, your password is more memorable, longer, contains unusual characters (an @ and a. ), and can be customized for each website.
- Was: Apples
- Now: me@Apples.amazon
If your password is too short or easy to guess, one of the simplest ways to improve it is to simply repeat it. Using the previous example of “Sarah1974”, we could have the password “Sarah1974Sarah1974” instead.
- Was: Sarah1974
- Now: Sarah1974Sarah1974
11. Add other punctuation
We’ve already mentioned using spaces or brackets in your password, but there are plenty of other punctuation options. Not all websites allow all characters, but you can experiment to see what they do. Consider the following suggestions:
- Was: Sarah1974
- Now: Sarah£19.74
- Was: SeattleHuskys
- Now: Seattle/Huskys/
- Was: Bristol98
- Now: Bristol+9+8
Avoid the common mistake of substituting letters for visually similar numbers or symbols, such as a @ for an an or the number 1 for the letter l (as in M@nch3st3rUn1t3d). Hackers are well-versed in these techniques and will employ them all.
Rather than relying on simple substitutions, use less common punctuation symbols and incorporate them into the password to break it up.
12. Swap the letters around
Could you just swap the first letters of each word if your existing password already consists of two or more words?
“SeattleHuskys” would become “HeattleSuskys” in this case. But be careful not to accidentally switch from two common words to two other common words, such as “LongSocks” to “SongLocks.”
- Was: SeattleHuskys
- Now: HeattleSuskys
Passwords are similar to the lock on your apartment door in that they are the only thing criminals must go through if you are not present. A weak password is equivalent to a weak lock. It greatly expands the number of people who can access your accounts.
Using all of the tips in this article to create strong, memorable passwords is a good place to start when it comes to increasing your security. Alternatively, use a strong password manager to generate all of your passwords automatically, eliminating the need to remember any of them.