Do's and don'ts to create a strong a password. Online security help.

We always listen and read advices to create strong passwords for securing our online presence and to ensure online security. Creating a strong password isn't so difficult as it is to remember. In my offline life, I see number of people who succeed in creating a strong password which is very difficult to guess but after some days, forget the password which causes them trouble. I should state here one example of my own home when my sister opened an account on a payment processor, received debit card from them and also received some amount of money on that payment processor. After a week of inactivity, she tried to access her account but she forgot password. Forgetting password was not the basic trouble because almost every site allows its users to retrieve password after providing some valid information but the nightmare started when she tried to recover password and found that the site is asking for answer of security questions to get back her password but she had already forgotten the answers of security questions too. In this way, she not only wasted her debit card but also the money inside her account.

This example shows how necessary is to remember passwords but it doesn't mean that you start making easy guessable passwords.

It doesn't make sense to avoid forgetting the password, make a password which everyone can guess. It would be an insane act. The qualities of a good password are that it must be unique and reachable to you only. You should make a non-guessable password either by humans or by robots because in this technological era, bots and special programs are also used to guess passwords. You are being trapped from all sides so you must take steps to save your privacy. Creating a strong password and then remembering it is part of this procedure. Below I am going to share some tips that might help you in creating a strong and memorizable only to you password.

1. Avoid Dictionary/Vocabulary:

Don't keep those words in passwords which are found in dictionary. Password is not the test of your vocabulary in which misspelled words or phrases decrease your ranks. It's all about security. So you might be wondering why I am saying this? According to tech experts, words found in dictionary can be guessed by bots if used as passwords. Thus while creating passwords, I suggest you to forget vocabulary and just concentrate on security. Not only robots but human can also know your passwords by any of their method so it would not be a wise thing to use dictionary words.

Vocabulary, Words, Phrases, Scrabble

Another reason to avoid dictionary words is that most people select the words which have any importance in their life or if not importance, they are habitual of speaking or writing those words which can also triggers your friends to detect your password.

2. Forget Common Phrases, Abbreviations And Numbers:

What if you choose password "iloveyou" ? I am 99% sure that if someone tried to hack your account, must have tried this as it is considered most popular password which majority of internet users set to their account.

Most popular also passwords include abbreviations or common numbers like"123456", "qwerty", "696969" etc. Adopting this routine to create passwords can prove critical for privacy. According to a Splashdata report, "123456" was the worst password of year 2014. It also provided a list of 25 worst passwords but the worst guessable passwords are not limited to just these 25. If your password consists of common phrases, numbers or abbreviations change it ASAP specially if hacking of that account is vulnerable to your privacy and financial security.

3. Forget Dates And Phone Numbers:

Do you set birthday, wedding date, job joining date, first child birthday or any date like this as your password? If it is, then your security is vulnerable. Dates can also be guessed easily both by bots and humans.

Calender, Dates, Months

Same for phone numbers. Never build any password with plain phone numbers as anything which is stored in public databases can be found easily. Phone numbers fall in this category that's wht they are more vulnerable than common words and phrases if set as password.

4. Build Alpha-Numeric Strings With Special Characters:

The strongest password has following characteristics.
  • Contains both upper and lower case letters.
  • Contains numbers in it.
  • Contains special characters like "-.+,(/) etc

AlphaNumeric, Words, Numbers

Passwords with above features are hardest to guess. But still you need to remember following things when making alpha-numeric strings.
  • Don't use only first character as uppercase letter.
  • Don't use alternate uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Place each and every character carefully and remember sequences.
Above 4 things help in avoiding vulnerable passwords and to create a strong password but still the question remains how to remember these passwords? Below I am giving some tips which will help you in creating memorizable strong passwords.

How To Create Memorable Passwords:

Due to fear of forgetting passwords, people set easy passwords but this practise is harmful. With the following tips it becomes easier to create a strong password that would also be easy to keep in memory.

1. Abbreviate Your Memorable Phrases/Sentences:

So you might ask why I am advising to abbreviate phrases here while I forbade to use abbreviations in above lines. The answer is quite simple that in above examples, I mentioned commonly used abbreviated phrases but here at this place, I am advising to abbreviate those phrases which are peculiar only to you. Here is an example of a sentence which can be abbreviated to create a password.
I always eat hamburger at 7 o'clock
This sentence can be abbreviated as "iaeHa7o'c".

Take a closer look at this password and you will see that it is an alphanumeric string with a special character. This is an example of strong password but the sentence or phrase which you choose must be non-forgettable. The above sentence is just an example, I don't suggest you to start creating password with the above example. The memorable sentences may relate to your personal life or any of your favourite quote or dialogue from a novel, movie, drama etc.

This tip is not only confined to English sentences or phrases but choosing sentences from other languages than English is rather good practise.

2. Use Memorable Words Other Than English:

So if you aren't sure enough to memorize the difficult abbreviated passwords. To those, the best option is to choose words or phrases in languages other than English. Best practise is to choose those languages which don't have Roman scripts like Asian, Russian and African languages. Select memorable phrases or words from those and write them in Roman scripts as password. For example I use a Persian phrase in my passwords. According to the site need, I insert the numbers and special characters in that phrase to create passwords. Let me give you an example of this kind of password.

"Maan Ki Muhabbat" is an Urdu phrase which means mother's love. A strong and memorizable password can be made by this phrase in following ways.
  • maan.KI.muhabbat13
  • M@@N-KI-muhabbat21
So you can remember even very strongest password with these tips. But I say again that choose only those words or phrases which you can remember for lifetime.

Main Image Credit: Pixabay


About Author

Jari Ullah is professional blogger, freelance writer and owner of "HelpITx" blog. He is fond of blogging and loves to learn and share blogging tactics.

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