IT security tips March – Password rules
A strong password is essential in order to secure our online profiles and data. However for many of us it is more important to have a password we can easily remember. That’s why numerous people use simple passwords including real words or basic combinations of letters or numbers, moreover they apply the same password for all their accounts.With our IT security tips of the month March we at Skydoo wanted to underline the importance of a good password and give you tips to create one you can easily remember.
- Don’t use obvious combinations of words like “BaconCheeseBurger” or “SunnyDay”, they are too obvious and easily hackable. In fact don’t use dictionary words at all (or if so use many of them. See Diceware below).
- Don’t keep it short and simple. Passwords under 12 characters are quickly cracked. Of course the longer the password the better.
- Include numbers, symbols, capital letters and lower-case letters and mix them. “GoodLife!123” for example is still too obvious because the numbers are all at the end, there is only one symbol and it is an easy combination of two dictionary words.
- Don’t use obvious substitutions. For example “L1ve” is not a safe password just because you replaced the i with a 1.
Now you might tell yourself “so far so good” but how can I remember a password like “yT+sU&Ar3ItY/ZaW67U!”. The trick is to apply the above mentioned rules but keep a not obvious combination you can easily remember.
Transform a phrase into a secure password
Use for example one or two easy to remember phrases like “I met my wife on July 13 1995. Now we already have four children and a big house with three bathrooms!” and transform it to a safe password: “1mmWoJI3I995.Nwah4C&abHw3B!”. This password is already easier to remember, however we agree, there must still be an easier option.
Next to the classic advice listed above there are also other options. The Diceware method is one of them: you have to use at least six random words and create a passphrase. This passphrase is a strong password because of the final length and the randomness of the words. The clear advantage of this method is the easiness to remember the chosen password.
Here is a random example of a passphrase: “genuine skinhead shaped spasm creature homeland”. The trick is to create a phrase that does not make any sense, is as random as possible and isn’t grammatically correct.
Good luck creating (and remembering) your passwords!