How to Create a Strong Password
Step by Step Guide

How to Create a Strong Password

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If you're using the Internet, you should know how to create a strong password. People tend to favor simple passwords despite the dangers of Internet Security, according to the New York Times.

Learning how to create an unhackable password can help protect your online privacy and Internet safety from prying eyes and identity theft; so why not do it?

It may sound easy, but there's a lot you may not know when it comes to choosing strong passwords for every online account.

Read on for tips and tools to help you keep your personal information safe online by securing your passwords.

How To Create a Strong Password

Every online account you own for every website should be protected with a unique, secure password. Here is how to create strong passwords that are hard to guess but easy to remember.

1. Do not use a short password

The longer your secure password is, the harder it will be for strangers to guess it. Complex passwords should always be longer than 12 characters if possible and contain no common words or patterns in them.

2. Don't use your name, a place, dictionary words, or anything too predictable

25 percent of passwords come directly from dictionary words, according to TroyHunt.com. For this reason, you should always use a random collection of letters, numbers, and special characters instead of real words.

Common passwords include passwords with names, places, and familiar words as well as passwords with common patterns. I know it's tempting to create memorable passwords, but it can be detrimental to your online privacy. You can find lists of common passwords on the WP Engine website.

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3. Vary the spelling, capitalization, special characters, punctuation, and numbers

Use special characters and mix up your passwords as stated above to help protect your online accounts. You can use uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters and numbers, and random punctuation to maximize your password security and protect yourself from brute force attacks. There are also manual methods you can use. If you don't trust yourself to create a strong password, however, I recommend using a strong password generator.

4. Use different passwords for every account and store them with a password manager

I know it sounds tedious, but it's a good idea to try to use different passwords for every online account. This way, if someone hacks into one online account, they cannot gain access to all of your website logins. That is the danger of using one simple password for every online account. Separate passwords won't be easy to remember, but you can use a password manager to keep track of them.

5. Change your passwords when hacked

Changing your passwords to new, random passwords every so often is not as beneficial as experts once thought, according to the FTC. However, you should change them if your account has been targeted by a brute force attack. Brute force attacks are a form of password cracking in which hackers and criminals use programs with trial and error methods to decode your encrypted data, according to the Privacy Technical Assistance Center.

To protect yourself, you need to make sure you have the strongest passwords possible at all times. This means you should never use common patterns to create new passwords. For the ultimate measures in protection, look into identity theft protection services for more security.

6. Set up two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of password security. Some online accounts, like Gmail, offer two-factor authentication upon sign-in for added security. Gmail's authentication process is called two-step verification. With a Gmail email account, two-step verification will verify your identity by sending you a text message with a code to type in on top after you type in your password. This way, If an outsider doesn't have your phone, they cannot get in.

7. Secure Your WiFi

You should figure out how to secure your WiFi before you sign into your accounts with your new passwords. WiFi security can help ensure outsiders cannot gain access to your sensitive accounts and data.

How to Create a Strong Password

Methods To Create a Strong Password

There are several methods you can utilize to strengthen weak passwords and create strong ones. Just make sure you don't use any common patterns; they create simple passwords that are easy to hack. Here are some examples of common patterns to avoid, according to USA Today.

  • One uppercase, five lower case letters, and three digits
  • One uppercase, six lower case letters, and two digits
  • One uppercase, three lower case letters, and five digits

Create Pass Phrase From Seed

Some password generators allow you to create a pass phrase. A passphrase is a password created from a pseudorandom seed made of a random collection of words, according to the Pass Phrase Generator. Pass phrases are often created to use as master passwords. For example, you can use a passphrase as a master password to protect your website login information from others on a shared computer. You can also use it to protect your passwords on your password manager (if you have one).

seed pass phrase generator

All you have to do is create an uncommon, random phrase with a certain number of random words. Make sure not to use song lyrics or common phrases from literature or history. Then, type the words into the seed box, specify the number of words, phrases, bits, and whether or not you want to include numbers, uppercase letters, or signatures. Then click generate.

Turn Sentences Into Passwords

Create a sentence. It can be something memorable to you, but make sure it is not a predictable song lyric or a sentence with common words. Then, take each word from your sentence and abbreviate and combine them in random ways. Here are a couple examples of some passwords I created using this method.

  • Chocolate is my favorite sweet of all time! = CocoImF$oAtm!
  • Dancing in the rain makes me feel young again. = DiGr@nmSMfEy*&A

Use The Person-Action-Object Method

You can also use the Person-Action-Object (PAO) method to create sentences that lead to strong, memorable passwords. Here's how it works.

1. Choose a picture of a fascinating place.

2. Choose a picture of a famous person or someone you know.

3. Brainstorm the person carrying out a random collection of actions using random objects in the place you chose. Here's a weird example.

  • Amy Schumer kicks a toilet at the Vatican.

4. Once you have a sentence, you can create a random string of letters, numbers, special characters and punctuation based on the sentence; like this.

  • @m^$c4Um3Rk!C+0!l3+Va+!N

suggested pass phrases

Use a Password Strength Checker

It's also a good idea to check your password strength so you are never a victim of password cracking. You can use The Password Meter password strength checker to simply type in your passwords and get a numbered score on how good they are. Your score will be based on uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, special characters and overall complexity. If you have a weak password, you will receive a low score.

password strength score

Use a Password Generator

A password generator can help you come up with complex passwords for your email account or online bank account. They use a random password selection algorithm to generate the strongest passwords. Here's a short list of good password generators for you to test out.

  • Secure Password Generator: Go to a secure password generator and check off which elements you want in a password to create complex passwords in seconds.
  • LastPass: LastPass also creates good passwords in seconds. Just go to the site and click Generate Password.
  • Norton Password Generator: Norton Password Generator is a credible online information protection organization with some of the best antivirus software and security options. It has a fantastic password generator to help its customers stay secure online.

Use a Password Manager

Post-it notes are fine and all, but the best password manager will store as many passwords and account names as you want. This way, you don't have to worry about creating memorable passwords. Just make sure your password manager is securely encrypted to protect your master passwords and website logins.

It may sound easy, but there's a lot you may not know when it comes to choosing strong passwords for every online account.

Recap

Now that you know how to create a strong password and strengthen a weak password, do it! It may sound like a pain to use separate, unhackable passwords with letters and numbers; but it will protect you from identity theft and hacking.

Password strength could make or break you in the long-run, so it's best you learn to make them strong now. You may also want to look into the best VPN services for an additional layer of security.

For more helpful strategies and tips, take a look at our ultimate guide to online privacy and Internet safety.

If this article helped you create the strongest passwords possible for social media, email accounts, and more, please share it with your friends and family on social media. You can follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for more how-to guides and money saving tips.

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