A strong password is essential from Social Networks to E-Banking/Online Purchase. “Be sure to use a strong password” is advice we all constantly see online. Here’s how to create a strong password—and, more importantly, how to actually remember it. A strong password is your first line of defense against intruders and imposters. Here, Abijita Foundation has bring you few tips on how to create a strong password and how to remember it.

Don’t Use One Password Everywhere

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It’s possible that someone working at a site where you use that password could pass it on or use it to break into your accounts at other sites.

Create Password Easy To Remember But Hard To Guess

When possible, use a phrase such as “I started 7th grade at Lincoln Middle School in 2010” and use the initial of each word like this: “Is7gaLMSi#2010.” And make them at least a little different (by adding a couple of unique letters) for each site. On some sites you might even be able to type in the entire phrase.

Consider a a “pass phrase” rather than simply a password. Such a phrase should be relatively long – perhaps 20 characters or so and consist of seemingly random words strung together along with numbers, symbols and upper and lower case letters. Think of something that you can remember but others couldn’t guess such as YellowChocolate#56CadillacFi$h. that’s relatively long – perhaps 20 characters or so — using seemingly random words strung together along with numbers, symbols and upper and lower case letters. Think of something that you can remember but others couldn’t guess such as YellowChocolate#56CadillacFi$h.  Avoid using famous quotations that might be easy to guess.

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Password Should Be 12 Character Long

The longer the better. Longer passwords are harder for thieves to crack.

Include Number, Small caps & Special Character

Consider using a $ instead of an S or a 1 instead of an L, or including an & or % – but note that $1ngle is NOT a good password. Password thieves are onto this. But Mf$J1ravng (short for “My friend Sam Jones is really a very nice guy) is an excellent password.

Avoid Dictionary Words

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If it’s in the dictionary, there is a chance someone will guess it. There’s even software that criminals use that can guess words used in dictionaries.

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Don’t Write Your Password On Plain Text

This might seem obvious but studies have found that a lot of people post their password on their monitor with a sticky note. Bad idea. If you must write it down, hide the note somewhere where no one can find it.

Using A Password Manager

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Programs or web services like RoboForm (Windows only) or Lastpass (Windows and Mac) let you create a different very strong password for each of your sites. But you only have to remember the one password to access the program or secure site that stores your passwords for you.

Enable 2FA Authentication

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Many services offer an option to verify your identity if someone logs on to your account from an unrecognized device. The typical method is to send a text or other type of message to a mobile device registered to you with a code you need to type in to verity it’s really you. In most cases, you will not be required to use this code when logging on from a known device such as your own computer, tablet or phone.

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Avoid Phishing Attack

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Nowadays most web browser protect your from Phishing Attack. But but Be very careful before clicking on a link (even if it appears to be from a legitimate site) asking you to log in, change your password or provide any other personal information. It might be legit or it might be a “phishing” scam where the information you enter goes to a hacker. When in doubt, log on manually by typing what you know to be the site’s URL into your browser window.

Secure Your Device

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The best password in the world might not do you any good if someone is looking over your shoulder while you type or if you forget to log out on a cybercafe computer. Malicious software, including “keyboard loggers” that record all of your keystrokes, has been used to steal passwords and other information. To increase security, make sure you’re using up-to-date anti-malware software and that your operating system is up-to-date.

Use A “Password” Or Fingerprints For Your Phone Too

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Most phones can be locked so that the only way to use them is to type in a code, typically a string of numbers or maybe a pattern you draw on the screen. Some new phones allow you to register fingerprints, which are quite secure. Sometimes when people with bad intentions find unlocked phones, they use them to steal the owners’ information, make a lot of calls, or send texts that look like they’re coming from the owner. Someone posing as you could send texts that make it look like you’re bullying or harassing someone in your address book with inappropriate images or words.

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Some parents ask their kids to share their passwords with them. This might be OK with young children, but you might want to respect your teen’s privacy and not ask. Also, if you do ask your children for their passwords, make sure they understand that this is a rare exception to the “do not share password” rule.

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According to the traditional advice—which is still good—a strong password:

  • Has 12 Characters, Minimum: You need to choose a password that’s long enough. There’s no minimum password length everyone agrees on, but you should generally go for passwords that are a minimum of 12 to 14 characters in length. A longer password would be even better.
  • Includes Numbers, Symbols, Capital Letters, and Lower-Case Letters: Use a mix of different types of characters to make the password harder to crack.
  • Isn’t a Dictionary Word or Combination of Dictionary Words: Stay away from obvious dictionary words and combinations of dictionary words. Any word on its own is bad. Any combination of a few words, especially if they’re obvious, is also bad. For example, “house” is a terrible password. “Red house” is also very bad.
  • Doesn’t Rely on Obvious Substitutions: Don’t use common substitutions, either — for example, “H0use” isn’t strong just because you’ve replaced an o with a 0. That’s just obvious.

Try to mix it up—for example, “BigHouse$123” fits many of the requirements here. It’s 12 characters and includes upper-case letters, lower-case letters, a symbol, and some numbers. But it’s fairly obvious—it’s a dictionary phrase where each word is capitalized properly. There’s only a single symbol, all the numbers are at the end, and they’re in an easy order to guess.

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A Trick For Creating Memorable Passwords

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With the tips above, it’s pretty easy to come up with a password. Just bash your fingers against your keyboard and you can come up with a strong password like 3o(t&gSp&3hZ4#t9. That’s a pretty good one—it’s 16 characters, includes a mix of many different types of characters, and is hard to guess because it’s a series of random characters.

The only problem here is memorizing this password. Assuming you don’t have a photographic memory, you’d have to spend time drilling these characters into your brain. There are random password generators that can come up with this type of password for you—they’re generally most useful as part of a password manager that will also remember the passwords for you. You’ll need to think about how to come up with a memorable password. You don’t want to use something obvious with dictionary characters, so consider using some sort of trick to memorize it.

For example, you might find it easier to remember a sentence like “The first house I ever lived in was 613 Fake Street. Rent was $400 per month.” You can turn that sentence into a password by using the first digits of each word, so your password would become TfhIeliw613FS.Rw$4pm. This is a strong password at 21 digits. Sure, a true random password might include a few more numbers and symbols and upper-case letters scrambled around, but it’s not bad at all.

Best of all, it’s memorable. You just need to remember those two simple sentences.

The Passphrase / Diceware Method

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The traditional advice isn’t the only good advice for coming up with a password. XKCD did a great comic about this many years ago that’s still widely linked to today. Throwing all the usual advice out, the comic advises choosing four random words and stringing them together to create a passphrase—a password that involves multiple words. The randomness of the word choice and length of the passphrase makes it strong.

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The most important thing to remember here is that the words need to be random. For example, “cat in the hat” would be a terrible combination because it’s such a common phrase and the words make sense together. “my beautiful red house” would also be bad because the words make grammatical and logical sense together. But, something like “correct horse battery staple” or “seashell glaring molasses invisible” is random. The words don’t make sense together and aren’t in grammatically correct order, which is good.  It should also be much easier to remember than a traditional random password.

People aren’t good at coming up with sufficiently random combinations of words, so there’s a tool you can use here. The Diceware website provides a numbered list of words. You roll traditional six-sided dice and the numbers that come up choose the words you should use. This is a great way to choose a passphrase because it ensures you use a random combination of words—you may even end up using words that aren’t a normal part of your vocabulary. But, because we’re just choosing from a list of words, it should be fairly easy to remember.

Diceware’s creators now recommend using at least six words because of advances in technology that make password-cracking easier, so keep that in mind when creating this sort of password.

And, while the differing length of the words makes brute forcing the password very difficult, you could always complicate things even further with a simple-to-remember pattern—one that would also make the password pass the test for forms that check passwords for complexity. For example, take the sample password from that XKCD comic—“correcthorsebatterystaple”—and apply a pattern where you join words by alternating symbols and numbers like “^” and “2” and then capitalize the second (or whatever) character of each word. You’d end up with the password “cOrrect^hOrse2bAttery^sTaple”—long, complicated, and containing numbers, symbols, and capital letters. But it’s still much easier to remember than a randomized password.

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