In today’s digital world where we need a password for everything we do knowing how to create a secure password is very important. All too often we create passwords that are too easy to guess just so that we can remember them easily. The problem is if we can remember them easily someone with a desire and the expertise could easily guess your password in under 1 hour.
There are a bunch of passwords that are very easily guessed and you would be surprised at how many are used on a daily basis. Single word passwords that can be found in a dictionary, names and common number combinations can all be easily guessed in a matter of seconds. If you’re one of those people who uses a common word or common word followed by a number you will get the most out of learning how to create a secure password.
First check out the password tester to see how easily passwords can be broken
If you are going to learn how to create a secure password you first need to realise how vulnerable some passwords are. We don’t recommend for security reasons using your real passwords but try passwords similar to yours and see how secure they are. The website How secure is my password is a good starting place. It will give you a good idea of how strong a password is and hopefully scare you into realising how vulnerable you are if you do not have a secure password.
1. Don’t use common words and phrases
The first step in learning how to create a secure password is realising that common words and phrases are easily broken. These are the first things that are tested when your password has been brute forced. Using common everyday words would take seconds to break by someone with the right software and a standard computer. If you feel you absolutely must use a common word or name mix it with numbers.
For example if you want to use your name (Sarah) mix it with your date of birth (12/06/75) or some other number that you remember. So your password would become s12a06ra75h. To brute force attack this password would take about 16 years on a standard computer (much less on more powerful computers). More than most potential hackers want to spend breaking a password but it can still be made even more secure.
2. Add symbols to your passwords
If the service you are using allows you to try to use symbols in your passwords. It does not matter where. A symbol will make it 1000 times difficult to break than a numeral and letter password.
3. The longer the password the better
If you really want to learn how to create a secure password making it as long as you can is one of the most important steps you can take. A password containing letters and numbers 6 characters long could have 57 billion combinations. Although this sounds a lot this password could be broken in minutes on a reasonable speed computer.
If you add 2 characters to make it 8 in length there are 218 Trillion combinations meaning it would take days to break rather than minutes but as you can see this still can not be considered a secure password.
If we use all the tips we have learnt so far and create a password that is alphanumeric with symbols and capitals and make it 8 in length.
This form of password has a massive 7.2 Quadrillion combinations and would take months to brute force. By adding another character you could turn this into years More than even the most determined person would be prepared to spend on breaking into your bank accounts or emails.
4. Make your passwords unique every time
When people say they want to learn how to create a secure password this tends to be the place where they struggle. Yes its great creating 9 character length passwords that would take years to crack but people quickly decide they don’t want to do this every time they need to sign into somewhere.
It is highly recommended that every password for every site is unique and the main reason for this is that your passwords are not only stored in your head or little black book. Passwords are stored on servers for every site you login to and although it is not very often that these sites and password lists are compromised it does happen. This then allows attackers to run an email list (as these are often our login names)and associated passwords through other sites.
Site 1 Login: myemailaddress Password: password
Site 2 Login: myemailaddress Password: password
If site 1 happens to be compromised and the username password combination is taken and run against another site where you use the same login details suddenly 2 of your accounts are compromised. You can see where this can become a problem.
If you really don’t want a different password for every site then settle for different password on your critical logins. Use unique passwords for banking, email, shopping sites but for less critical logins that don’t contain credit card details or personal details use a similar password (for example forums etc)
5. Change your password
As we have seen throughout this tutorial on how to create a secure password, a password no matter how secure can eventually be broken given enough time. That is why it is recommended that you change your password every 3-6 months and at the very least once every year.
This takes away the chance of even the most complicated password been broken.
This tutorial should have helped you learn how to create a secure password and now all you have to do is put it into action. Don’t be one of the thousands every year that are exposed due to insecure passwords as its your money and your identity at risk.