It’s common knowledge that most people’s passwords are rubbish. Whether they’re ‘password’ or ‘1234’, something a little more complex like your mother’s maiden name +123 they are likely to either be on the top 100 most used list or have a password an attacker could crack very quickly with some knowledge they could find online.
Now, I’m sure you’re not one of those people (If you are please please please go change your password right now!) but here’s some helpful tips on how to create strong but easy to remember passwords.
Your password doesn’t have to be ”V!b5*7Ox1Kk%4U@29” to be strong
All the time we get told that a password must contain 16 characters and consist of random numbers letters and symbols to be secure, but this isn’t the only way to make a secure password.
You can make a long and secure password memorable by thinking up a scenario that will stick in your mind. For example, water bottle banana trumpet. As ludicrous as that sounds it will help you to remember your password and make it more difficult to crack.
(Hint: You can try to draw a picture representation to help you →)
Also remember not to use information that could be easily guessed by an attacker (pets names, middle names, places significant to you)
Time to substitute some characters
Now you have a water bottle banana trumpet stuck in your head, let’s make this password even harder for a hacker to crack. An easy way to do this would be to swap some letters out for numbers. Let’s say we swap ‘A’ to become 4’s this would make it…. W4terbottleB4n4n4Trumpet we could even go further and swap up some more characters…. W4t3r8077!384n4n47rump3t
Doing this will make your password much stronger and remember you don’t have to substitute every character like I have done above, mix and match, make your password your own.
Don’t reuse your passwords!
This is why using the same password if so very dangerous. you can consider a few things to make your life easier though. you could prioritize your passwords. So have individual secure passwords for your most sensitive accounts (E.g. Work, Bank & Emails) then for your social media have a shared strong password across these. and finally have a shared strong password with accounts that do not have much sensitive information on.
(Hint: Just think about what information you have given each site, as you may think Spotify is not a sensitive account, but if you have registered your bank details with them it then becomes a sensitive password you need to protect.)
A much better idea could be a password manager.
Use a password manager to help
On the market there are now hundreds of hundreds of password managers. These handy tools are designed to create secure random passwords for all the sites you visit. These tools then store and autofill these passwords for you to meaning all you have to remember is a single password to gain access to your manager.
My personal choice of managers is last pass (lastpass.com) which I find to be easy to use reliable and works on all my devices. But there are others out there, such as Dash line and sticky passwords. So try them out and see what works for you.
Most of these tools offer both a free and paid option with different features for each meaning anyone can adopt a password manager regardless of budget.
Follow these simple steps and you will be secure from simple password attacks
Ant Robinson, Security Analyst at Emeiatec