Generating Secure Online Passwords

One of the most common topics in relation to security is passwords.  Virtually every account on the internet – from social media to online banking, photo sharing to email – requires a user-generated password upon registration.  Password security measures are put in place to provide authentication and grant access to only those who provide the correct identification via the correct password.

Passwords should be generated by the user to provide a high level of security and should be created using a variety of characters.  Stronger passwords use randomly generated numbers, letters and other characters in both upper and lower cases.  However these types of passwords are often difficult to remember for the user who created them and can result in authentic users being unable to access their information.  Here are some tips for generating strong, secure passwords that may be more easily remembered by the user and less vulnerable to security breaches.

Make it complex
The most secure passwords are longer ones, another characteristic which makes them harder to remember.  One way to generate a longer password that is easier to remember is to build it out of acronyms.  Use a phrase, song lyrics or verse that has some significance to you (and that you will remember) to create your password.  For instance, ‘HisDmbPP”  is a password generated from the first letters in the title of a favorite book, ‘His Dark Material by Phillip Pullman’.  Although it is a longer password, the user is more likely to recall it because it relates to something they enjoy.  On the other hand, password attackers are less likely to guess it, even if they are familiar with your literary tastes.

Include numbers
A way to incorporate numbers into your passwords is to use mathematical expressions or dates.  Tacking numbers to letters and other characters is a great way to increase your security.  One way to integrate numbers and letters is to replace parts of a mathematical or numerical expression with letters or words.  For instance, the password ‘314159’ could be improved by ‘three+14+oneplus3*3=pie’.  This may be difficult to remember for anyone else, but since it is the user’s own interpretation of the integer ‘pie’ they are more likely to recall it.

Avoid obvious choices
There are several other ways to increase your password security.  For instance do not use personal information like birthdates, pet names or family names.  This information may be too available for those who really want access to your accounts.  Avoid using common words or single words with added numbers at the end, as these are easy to breach.  And if you find it impossible to come up a secure password, there are password generators available for free on the web that will create a strong password for you.  The only challenge then is remembering it.

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