How to Create the Perfect Password
Passwords are like acquaintances. You have too many of them and they’re hard to remember unless you’re given a hint.
We all have issues when it comes to passwords. The number of services on the internet that require you to register an account is expanding at an exponential rate.
Slowly but surely your list of minute variations of your dog’s name is running thin. Most of us don’t even have more than three different passwords, making it relatively easy for hackers to access your most personal information online.
You’ve got your Twitter, Gmail, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, online banking, work email, the list goes on and on. Each requiring a separate login and different password. Humans are not built to remember all of this! We can hardly remember what we ate yesterday, let alone 20 different logins.
So, we get overwhelmed and end up putting “password” or “123456” as the sole defense between you and someone who wants to access your information. We justify it by thinking “I’ll never get hacked, this would never happen to me.” But you’re wrong. It most definitely can happen to you. Especially if you use the same login credentials for all of your online accounts.
It’s time to get in the habit of creating legitimately secure passwords, ensuring that your identity and personal information will not be compromised. No need to get overwhelmed, here are a few simple tips to help you make a password that is easy to remember but incredibly difficult to crack.
Letters, Numbers, Symbols
The first step in creating a secure password is utilizing a combination of the various keys on your keyboard. When it comes to passwords, dictionary words are not your friend. Most hackers use software to try thousands of commonly used words and phrases in little to no time, making even the most unique word or phrase easy to find. Adding numbers and symbols to your password makes it much more difficult for these kinds of programs to successfully break into your accounts.
Length is Key
Even more important than the complexity of a password is its length. It used to be relatively safe if a password was 8-10 characters long, but the speed at which hacking software can analyze different alphanumeric variations has made this standard length easy to crack. Each additional letter or symbol you add to your password makes hacking much more difficult.
Don’t panic, mnemonic devices are simply techniques that a person can use to easily remember complex information. For example, “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” or “PEMDAS” is used to remember the mathematical order of operations. Similarly, one of the best ways to create a strong password is by creating a mnemonic device that only you can remember. Not only will your password be much harder to hack, but you’ll also feel like a secret agent.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
It’s hard to justify to yourself creating more than one password. It may be fine to use the same password for accounts that don’t store sensitive information, but for your bank account or email, it’s imperative that your passwords are completely different. If you use the same password for all of your accounts, the moment one of your numerous accounts gets hacked, everything else is fair game.
The Future of Authentication
Fortunately, the burden of remembering all of your passwords does not have to completely fall on you. What if an application existed that acted as a secure platform, enabling users to login to every one of their accounts using only one password? Lucky for you, it does, it’s called OAuth. This application uses an open authorization protocol that allows user to access third-party accounts without having to give up credentials for each individual site. It makes having numerous web accounts easy to manage and access without the worry of having to create new passwords for each of them.