10 Tips for Creating Effective Passwords

Posted on January 17th, 2014 by Stacy Gianakura

Password SecurityPassword security is more important than ever. Some people don’t place much importance in creating strong, unbreakable passwords. If their bank account gets hacked, they’ll soon realize that the proverbial ounce of prevention is well worth it to safeguard their private information. Here are ten tips for creating robust, unbreakable passwords.

10. Think about it.
Don’t use the first thing that pops into your mind. Try using the first letters from each word in a phrase you won’t forget. For instance, use acronyms like ouamd from “once upon a midnight dreary.” Add a couple numbers, and you’ll have a strong password, such as 1OUa2MD3.

9. Use one strong master password.
An example would be taking your first name and adding special characters between each letter. A password like M!I$K=E9 is secure and easy to remember.

8. Use plenty of special characters.
Special characters make passwords very difficult to decipher. A string of special characters and numbers is extremely effective, like 9!21$3!4$.

7. Be playful.
Substitute numbers for letters. Turn words backwards. Use random capitalization.

6. Complicate things.
Don’t use passwords that are the minimum length. Add a few extra numbers just to make them harder to guess. Don’t use lazy passwords, like password.

5. Don’t use your pet’s name.
In fact, don’t use your spouse’s name, your child’s name or any name that is intimately associated with you.

4. Don’t tell anyone.
Nobody else needs to know your password. Keep your passwords private, even from lovers or close friends.

3. Change your password regularly.

Use a system that you won’t forget. You might change them on the fifteenth of every month or the first day of every other month.

2. Spell out numbers.
If you use a number to complicate your password, try spelling it out. For instance, instead of 9MiKe2, try nineMiKe2.

1. Shun clichés or slang.
Don’t use the latest catch phrase, like HeyYa or WhatsUp. Don’t use the name of your favorite band. Make it hard for hackers to guess your password.

These simple tips will keep your passwords safe from anybody who would want to steal your private data or cause problems for you.

Written by John Cappello, Director or Technical Services at Pyramid Technology Services

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