How strong is your password
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How to make a secure password

Sunday, 14th September 2014

Having a secure password is kind of de rigueur nowadays, what with our entire lives being online and all that.

Here’s a technique that will not only allow you to create a unique password for every service that you use, but also guarantees you will never forget a single one of them. It has three very simple steps:

Step One: Create a strong root password

Many sites tell you that you need a password that is at least a particular length, with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. This is what your root password should have. A very easy way of doing this is by using your own password sentence.

For this example, I’m going to use this sentence: My dad was born in Madras on 19th April 1958.

By taking the first letters of every word in this sentence, I get the rather complex looking password: mdwbimo19a1958

Make a couple of tweaks:

Change the first character to upper case: Mdwbimo19a1958
Replace the ‘a’ with ‘@’: Mdwbimo19@1958

This gives you a strong password that is long, has a combination of upper and lower case letters, and contains numbers and a special character. With the mnemonic, you are unlikely to forget the password as well.

Step Two: Add a prefix

This step allows you to create a unique password for each service you have. Simply take the first four letters of the service you are using and prefix them to your root password.

For example, for Gmail, you’d have ‘gmai’ and your password would be gmaiMdwbimo19@1958.

Step Three: Add a suffix

Now you have an unforgettable unique password for your Gmail account. But what if you have multiple Gmail accounts? Simply add the first four letters of your username to the end of the password.

For example, if you are captainoftheinternets@gmail.com, just add capt to the end of your password. Your final password would be gmaiMdwbimo19@1958capt.

This is sufficiently complex, long enough and has all the different elements to be a good, strong password.

Mix it up and make it your own – you can use some other technique to generate your root password, you could swap the prefix and suffix, make it all a prefix or a suffix – and you will have your very own, unique, unforgettable password for each service you use.

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