A Guide To Creating A Strong Password

August 11th, 2015 by

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Online security is no laughing matter; protect your sensitive data with the strongest password possible.

Passwords can be a nuisance. Wracking your brain trying to remember your PIN code, your Facebook password, your email account password and your anniversary can prove too trying for some of us. Unfortunately, it is due to this that online security is down. We’re too tempted by the ease of using one simple password for all of our online accounts, something that puts us at a greater risk of being hacked, spammed or targeted by undesirables who are after our details for one reason or another.

So it’s vital to remember just how important a strong password is. That means you need to avoid using your name, the name of your beloved pet or partner, the word ‘password’ itself (yeah, people still do this), 1234, your date of birth or any of the aforementioned followed by the number 1 when they ask you to use a number.

If you recognize any of the above as examples of a password you’re using, it’s time to take stock and make the effort to up your security. Did you know that 73% of Americans have been targeted by cyber crime? Chances are, someone at some point will try and breach your password. Be it for jokes or for a more severe reason, you can make sure to keep them at bay for as long as possible by following a few simple rules:

The longer the better

Your password should be at least eight characters long. While you may think this will be hard to remember, seeing as you are avoiding phrases and words which are obvious to you, you’ll find it much easier if you break it down into two halves, as your memory works better with short blocks of information.

For example: if your password is 4T8j3Df@, your brain will find it easier to remember this as two chunks of four letters. 4T8j and 3Df@ are much simpler for your brain to remember when separated than as one long sequence.

While eight is the recommended number of characters, the longer you make your password the harder it will be to crack, so don’t hesitate to beef it up a little.

Use the whole keyboard

Don’t be frightened of the number keys; a password made up entirely of letters is much easier to crack than one with a variety of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers and symbols. If you doubt your brain’s ability to remember a completely random sequence of numbers and letters, try substituting some letters for their numerical twins. For example: tH15isMyp4sSw0rd is a lot stronger than thisismypassword.

Don’t be too familiar

While yes, you will probably resort to a word or phrase of significance to yourself, you really should be avoiding birthdays or names, and that includes your hometown. If you really must pick a password which means something to you, be sure that you’re the only one it has significance to and that it couldn’t be found out through a quick investigation into your person.

Mix it up

Your password is not for life, like your dog. Every few months you should be altering it completely to swerve any attempts to breach your privacy. Once you get into the habit of changing your passwords frequently it will become second nature. Don’t be put off by the extra brainpower it takes to forget the old one and recall the new one!

With a shared hosting package from WestHost, your server’s security is monitored and maintained by yours truly. As you can tell from this blog post, we know the necessary precautions to take to make sure access controls are strict. If you’re running a dedicated server, you should be sure to set up stringent access controls, and put your mind to creating a robust password. If you struggle to conjure one up yourself, try out an online password generator.

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