How to Create Hack-Proof Passwords
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How to Create Hack-Proof Passwords

Passwords are your last line of defense against identity fraud and other online scams. While it goes without saying that you should always keep your password safe and never give it out, you should also have a password that is strong and secure. Criminals have sophisticated tools to crack passwords, so you need to fight back! Here are some tips for creating strong passwords:

  • Don't make it personal. Passwords shouldn't come from obvious personal information associated with yourself, such as spouses' names, kids' names, anniversary dates, or birthdays. If a criminal gets a hold of any of your personal information, it can be easy for them to crack your password.
  • Don't recycle passwords. Although it's convenient to use the same password across sites, this makes your highly vulnerable to a damaging attack. Once a criminal gets a hold of one of your passwords, the rest is history.
  • Don't use dictionary words, proper nouns, or foreign words. Password hacking tools are great at quickly running massive dictionaries in all languages to try to guess your password. Even spelling a word backwards won't help, they can do that too
  • Use longer passwords. The longer the password, the more difficult it is to crack. Generally, you want a password which is between six and nine characters.
  • Don't use just plain old letters. Include numbers, upper and lower case letters, and special characters. This makes it more difficult for a computer to crack your password, as the universe of possible characters goes up significantly.
  • Use a mnemonic phrase. One example is to spell a phrase phonetically, such as ‘IluvKarZ!’ (instead of ‘I love cars’) or the first letters of of the words of a phrase that's easy to remember such as ‘anwyccdfy’ = “ask not what your country can do for you.”

#1 technique for creating bullet-proof passwords

In my opinion, the most effective way to create a password that's easy to remember yet tough to crack is the following:

  1. Think of a phrase that's personally meaningful to you, for example, "i love baked potatoes with sour cream"
  2. Take the first letters of the words in the phrase: 'ilbpwsc'
  3. Convert a few random letters to capitals: 'iLbPWsc'
  4. Convert a few letters to numbers which resemble the letters visually: '1LbPW5c'

Voila. You have a password that is extremely difficult to crack or guess, and it's easy to remember. Plus, it's even kind of fun to think of these!

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Comments (6)

this is a pretty useful password generator bookmarklet - it creates passwords for you when you want them as you visit different websites

woops - and here's the link.

I like using quotes from favorite movies and building passwords out of the first letters. Like "go ahead, make my day" = GAMMD, then mess around with characters and numbers as you mention above cheryl. Good work.

I never realized how easily passwords can be hacked! These are some good ideas that I'll have to try out. Thanks for the factoid.

Using a memorable phrase and including numbers AND special characters increases ten-fold the number of potential hack possibilities, making this a great solution. Word of advice for 'hackable' passwords: more than 8-characters and NEVER use English words. Seriously, since English the 'the language of the web' you don't want to limit yourself to "English" words. Case in point: the most-oft used 'temporary' or 'newbie' password used is "PASSWORD" and while it is 8-letters long, it is 'English' and therefore, guessable.

The most important thing to remember in creating a password is the combination of letters, numbers, symbols and special characters. Combine these type of information can strengthen the password preventing hackers to guess it using a software. Thank you for the useful information that you have shared on this article. Keep it up! Voted and shared.