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How To Make A Secure Password You Can Remember

Security
by Baz Edwards

Here's two easy tricks you can use today to create secure passwords that you can actually remember.

How To Make A Secure Password You Can Remember

There's so much stuff online these days about Security and the need to create passwords that are secure and uncrackable by hackers.

You can use password managers for this, such as LastPass which I've talked about before, when I listed the 25 worse passwords, but you still have to create a secure master password for your password manager, that's strong and most of all, memorable!

What's a strong password?

Well here's a example of a strong password: 1V2D!XsUh#ZPPN&A6*5Qbz3GKuy2d@r8

And the reason why it's so strong is because it follows the following rules:

  1. It has a least 12 characters: In the above example, the password length is 32 characters.  You don't necessarily need a password that long, but you should choose one that's long enough.  There isn't a minimum length either, but the longer the better because it will be much more difficult for hackers to crack.

  2. It includes numbers, symbols, and a mixture of upper-case and lower-case letters: Including these characters in your password increases the difficulty in cracking a password.

  3. It isn't a dictionary word or combination of dictionary words: Never use dictionary words because, they can be looked up from a dictionary.  Hackers use dictionary attacks to crack passwords by piecing together words found in a dictionary.  They try millions of possibilities, so if your password is "red house" for example, they chances are they'll hit upon that combination very quickly.

  4. It does't contain obvious substitutions: So you might think that "h0rse" is a good password because it contains a number.  But hackers know about these substitutions and are therefore easy to guess.

Ok, so you're probably thinking that's all well and good and that you're never going to be able to remember the password above unless you have a photographic memory, so what can you do to create a secure, memorable password?

Well I'm going to share with you a neat little trick to help you:

Two tricks to create a secure and memorable password

The good way to create a password is to use sentences or phrases.  That way, it's easy to remember.

For example, for the phrase "My Green Cat Jumped Over The Moon!", you could take the words and abbreviate and combine them in unique ways to form a password:

MGr33nCJp0vrTM0n!

This is a strong password with 17 characters.  It contains numbers, symbols and upper-case and lower-case letters.  Neither does it contain dictionary words, as I've abbreviated them.

You could probably improve on the password above and put some more numbers and symbols in there, but nonetheless, it's not a bad password.

A second method of creating secure passwords is one which XKCD came out with many years ago.

Basically, you choose four random words and string them together to create a passphrase.  

It's the randomness of the word choice and the length of the passphrase that makes it strong.

But make sure that words are random enough.  So, words such as "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" isn't random enough and could easily be guessed.

Instead, opt for something along the lines of "the green horse fence battery" is good because the words don't make sense when put together, it's not grammatically correct and is therefore hard to guess.

If you have trouble coming up with random words, check out the Diceware website which should help you.

The comic below by XKCD illustrates this method perfectly:

How To Create A Strong, Secure Password That You Can Actually Remember!

One last piece of advice: don't reuse the same password twice anywhere.

That way, if passwords are stolen from a website that you have an account with, the hackers be able to use that password to get into other accounts that you might have.

What techniques do you use to create and remember passwords?  Do you use password managers?  If so, let me know in the comments below.

Cheers!

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