5 Steps to Stronger Passwords

 

Passwords are the first line of defense to keep other people out of your computer, mobile phone, data and online accounts and this is why we must learn how to create strong passwords to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, many of the passwords people use are short and simple or have been used for a long period of time and for multiple accounts. Think of your password like a house key – it enables you to lock up your house, but you have to keep the key in a safe location. 

 

Basic guide to creating strong passwords 

  • Use both upper and lower-case letters 
  • Incorporate numbers and punctuation marks 
  • Use special characters 
  • Make it at least 8 characters long 
  • It should not contain anything related to your personal information such as name, birth date, car license plate, anniversary date, phone number or names of anyone you know. 

 

Make it more complex 

Aside from using this basic guide to create strong passwords, you can also make it more complex with the steps shown below. The password should be one that is easy for you to remember but hard for someone else to guess. 

 

  1. First, think of a “pin” for your password, it could be anything from letters to numbers; this is the part that is the same for all your passwords. This “pin” should remain a secret at all times. Say, “52”.  
  2. Then for each website, create a code that helps you remember which site. For example, gMa for Gmail, fBk for Facebook, iGm for Instagram, tW for Twitter, etc.  
  3. Continue the password with another set of 4 or more characters, example 5948 or bp87. You can use different random characters for different passwords as well.  
  4. Combine steps 2 & 3, to get a feel of it:  
    • gMa5984 or gMabp87 
    • fBk5984k or fBkbp87 
  5. Now, when using the passwords, add your “pin” to it and/or add in symbols to it as well. Example: 
    • gMa598452! Or 25!gMa5984 
    • fBkbp8752! Or 52!fBkbp87 

 

Keep it safe 

Now that you’ve created your very own unique passwords, here are some best practices on what to do with it: 

  • Don’t write it down! If you must write it down, do not leave it out in the open. 
  • Don’t share your password with anyone, even your close friends. 
  • Always use different passwords for different accounts. 
  • Change your password every 3 months.