Breaches, scams, fraud, identity theft. These words are all over the news and, sadly, have affected millions of people. Unfortunately, these crimes will not be going away anytime soon.
Do you ever think about how secure your passwords are? You should. Passwords are vital in protecting your home computers, as well as your bank accounts and credit cards. Because of that, passwords can cause a fair amount of consternation if you have to remember so many of them.
One way to solve this dilemma is to develop a method/scheme to create passwords that are easy to remember, but hard for others to guess. Here are just a few suggestions for devising a password.
• Use a password scheme that contains characters that are the same across all of your passwords with other characters that are unique to the site you’re logging onto. For example, if you’re a dog lover and you use the stock symbol (or some other way to represent the company), you might come up with a password for Yahoo that’s “yhoodog2015.”
• Use a passphrase and turn it into a password. “A Coke and a smile” could be “aCokeAndaSmile.”
• Create a compound word using a couple of small words. “My dog Odie” might become “MyDogOdie.”
• Take a word or phrase and remove the vowels from it. “Fly like an eagle” becomes “flylkngl.”
• Pick a memorable word or name, as well as a number that’s the same length as the word and intermix them. “Kennedy” plus “1234567” is now “K1e2n3n4e5d6y7.”
In addition to these suggestions, it’s always a good idea to mix upper and lower case letters in your password and add special characters (i.e., @, $, !, etc.) within the password to make it harder to guess or hack. Just do it in a way that’s easy for you to remember, like replacing each letter S with a $ or a 5. To make your password even stronger, remember that longer is better
Below lists various passwords and the time it takes a hacker to crack them.
Password                      < 1 second No method
P@55w0rd                   3 days Replacing letters with sympbols and numbers
wbmidog01                  7 hours Company representation, a word, and a number
Wbmidog01                 39 days Same as above, but added an uppercase letter
1Xa5jK@9#                 275 days Random 9 charcter password
Du4*fB9$0t                58 years Random 10 charcter password
T4@nk$J04n@bil     2 billion years Using mixed caseand replacing letters with numbers and special charcters. (Says Thanks John a Billion)
K1e2n3n4e5d6y7        98 billion years Intermixed letters and numbers
As you can see, there are ways to create passwords that are easy to remember but hard for others to guess. If you do this, you won’t have to write them down on a piece of paper and stick it to your keyboard. What can you come up with?