Password security is one of those things that you don't think about until its too late, here we outline a simple list of Do's and Don'ts when picking a secure password. Hint: if you password is a simple dictionary word with a couple numbers its not secure.
- Use at least 8 characters.
- Include a digit or punctuation.
- Use upper and lower case.
- Choose a phrase or combination of words to make the password easier to remember.
- May be two words separated by a non-letter non-digit.
- Use different passwords on different machines.
- Change password regularly and don't reuse passwords or make minor variations such an incrementing a digit.
- Use the account name
- A word from the dictionary or a name of a person
- Use any reference to pop culture; movies, books, songs, religion
- Use keyboard sequences; QWERTY, or ASDFGHJKL
- Use reversed words
- Use words with the vowels deleted
- Use the first letter capitalized
- User only vowels or consonants in uppercase
- Anything that personally relates to you
- Name of school
- Friends names
- Street names
- Serial numbers
- Social security number
- Use publicly shown examples of good passwords
- Translated words from other languages
A simple way to make a strong password that covers these characteristics is to think of a sentence, “Password Security is not something to take lightly” then use the first letters from each word "PSINSTTL". We now have an 8 character random looking password; from here we alter it to make it more difficult “p51NStT!”. While it might not be feasible for everyone to have such a difficult password, but the more effort you put into it the less likely it will be stolen.