Luckily, there are loads of ways to create strong passwords that you won’t forget. Here, we’ll walk you through our tips and tricks for choosing and setting up secure passwords for your online accounts. And we’ll share some of our favorite methods for keeping your passwords safe and ways of making sure you don’t have to hit the “Forgotten password” link ever again.
What is a strong password?
A strong password is one you can’t guess or crack using a brute force attack. Hackers use computers to try various combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols in search of the right password. Modern computers can crack short passwords consisting of only letters and numbers in mere moments.
As such, strong passwords consist of a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special symbols, such as punctuation. They should be at least 12 characters long, although we’d recommend going for one that’s even longer.
A strong password isn’t obvious
A good password needs to be something that’s really difficult for someone else to guess or crack, so don’t go for anything really generic, like “password” or “12345”.
Good passwords can’t contain memorable keyboard paths
Don’t use sequential keyboard paths, like “qwerty”, as hackers are likely to crack these. If you spent no effort in thinking of a good password, the chances are the hackers won’t need much effort to crack it.
A good password should be unique
Once you’ve created a strong password, you might well be tempted to use that password for all your online accounts. But, if you do that, it leaves you more vulnerable to multiple attacks. After all, if a hacker manages to discover your password, they’ll then be able to login to every account you use that password for, which might include your emails, your social media and your work accounts.
Examples of good passwords
So a password must be at least 12 characters long (ideally, even 15 characters) and should consist of a seemingly random collection of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters, like punctuation. With that in mind, here are some good examples of strong passwords:
Choose a passphrase rather than a password
Passphrases are much more secure than passwords because they’re typically longer, making them more difficult to guess or brute force. So instead of choosing a word, pick a phrase and take the first letters, numbers and punctuation from that phrase to generate a seemingly random combination of characters. You can even substitute the first letter of a word with a number or symbol to make it even more secure. Or try swapping out words for punctuation like we used to back in the days of text slang, if you can remember back that far.
Here are some examples of how you can use the passphrase method to create strong passwords:
|I first went to Disneyland when I was 4 years old and it made me happy||I1stw2DLwIw8yrs&immJ|
|My friend Matt ate six doughnuts at the bakery café and it cost him £10||MfMa6d@tbc&ich£10|
|For the first time ever, Manchester United lost 5:0 to Manchester City||4da1sttymevaMU5:02MC|