The key to creating a strong, secure password is to make something that you and only you will remember. See, there’s no point to having a password unless you can’t remember it, and there’s no point in having a password that everybody else knows. What you need to do is find something that no one can associate with you; hackers can be very close to the people they attack, so you want your password to be completely random as well. It’s easy to make your password your favorite sports team or your boyfriend’s name, but those are obvious.
When you create a password, what you don’t make it is just as important as what you make it. As aforementioned, you don’t want your password to be something that is easily associated with you, such as the name of a significant other, hometown, alma mater, mother’s name, or father’s name. However, you could make your password something that is easily memorable but that few other people know, such as your mother’s maiden name, your dog’s birthday, or the day you broke up with your last girlfriend. If you must put yourself into your password, make sure that no one else knows about that part of your life.
Usually, though, it’s best to not put yourself into your password. You should make your password something completely random and just train yourself to memorize it. Make your password a pattern of numbers; you could put your birth date, graduation, and address into one string of numbers to make strong, secure password. You could also put the first verse or line of a song (hopefully a song that no one knows you’re obsessed with or that you’re not obsessed with) in your password. Sometimes, it may be just as effective to type a catchphrase or slogan such as Just Do it as your password.
Secure passwords are usually longer because they’re more difficult for brute-force hackers to decrypt and more difficult for nefarious little siblings to memorize. The ideal password is anywhere between seven and twelve characters, but many sites won’t even let you make a password that is shorter than six, or even eight, characters. You should make your password about ten characters just to ensure that it will be difficult to crack and that it is acceptable on most websites. I would recommend using a combination of ten letters and numbers to make it even more difficult for hackers to get at you.
Many people I know use the same password for all of their accounts. Folks, this is the computerized equivalent to keeping all of your eggs in one basket. If someone you know cracks one of your passwords, then he or she will definitely try that password on every other one of your accounts. If someone you don’t know hacks into your email, he or she might find out that you have a Facebook account, and he or she might then decide to try out your hacked password on that account. The point is, vary your passwords from account to account so that even if one gets hacked, the other ones still have a chance.
When you’ve decided on your password, you want to practice typing it several times so that you can type it out quickly. This is done not only in the interest of saving you, but also in the interest of keeping you safe. The faster you type, the harder it is for any Shoulder-surfers (people who watch you type over your shoulder) to find your password. However, if your password is between 7-12 characters, completely random, and in no way easily associated with you, then you don’t need to worry about speed nearly as much.