What Makes a Password Strong?

The key aspects of a strong password are length (the longer the better); a mix of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols, no ties to your personal information, and no dictionary words. The good news is you don’t have to memorise awful strings of random letters numbers and symbols in order to incorporate all of these aspects into your passwords. You simply need a few tricks.

Tips for Creating a Unique Password (That’s Also Strong)

Short answer: The secret to creating a hard-to-crack password that’s unique and easy to remember is to focus on making it memorable and making it hard to guess. Seems simple enough, right? By learning a few simple skills, you can easily create a strong and memorable password with minimal effort. Plus, creating them can actually be fun - and your payoff in increased safety is huge.

To avoid these easy to guess or hack passwords try one or more of the following tricks:

Use a phrase and incorporate shortcut codes or acronyms 

These examples let you use phrases that either means something to you, or you associate with a type of website. For example, the ’all for one and one for all’ may be the password for a social networking site where it’s all about sharing. It could be a phrase about money for a banking site, and so on.

2BorNot2B_ThatIsThe? (To be or not to be, that is the question - from Shakespeare)

L8r_L8rNot2day (Later, later, not today - from the kid's rhyme)

4Score&7yrsAgo (Four score and seven years ago - from the Gettysburg Address)

John3:16=4G (Scriptural reference)

14A&A41dumaS (one for all and all for 1 - from The Three Musketeers, by Dumas)

Use passwords with common elements, but customised to specific sites 

Use passwords with common elements, but customised to specific sites 

These examples tell a story using a consistent style so if you know how you write the first sections, and you’re on the login page for a site you’ll know what to add.

ABT2_uz_AMZ! (About to use Amazon)

ABT2_uz_BoA! (About to use Bank of America)

Pwrd4Acct-$$ (Password for account at the bank)

Pwrd4Acct-Fb (Password for a Facebook account)

Play with your keyboard 

Considering that most computer keyboards contain 101 to 105 keys, you have a ton of options when it comes to crafting a unique password. You don’t have to think of it just as the numbers you see, but rather, as a canvas to draw on.

Add emoticons: While some websites limit the types of symbols you can use, most allow a wide range. Make your symbols memorable by turning them into smiley faces to instantly boost your password power.1qazdrfvgy7, is really hard to remember unless you know that it’s a W on your keyboard -that’s a lot easier to remember! You can make letters, shapes, and more just ’drawing’ on the keyboard.

Use commonly allowed symbols:

Common Keyboard Symbols

Use commonly allowed symbols:

Use basic smiley faces: (Yes, these are symbols you can actually use.)

You’re now ready to create your own strong, long, memorable mixed-character passwords using one or more of these tricks.