Creating a secure, difficult to break passwords is very easy. What is difficult is to remember them 🙂 In this post you will describe a cool way for creating strong, yet easy to remember passwords and increase your online security.
To quickly create a strong password we can use one of online password generators. There are quite a few different websites that can help with that. Here are some of them: dashlane.com, lastpass.com and roboform.com. The problem with password created in such a way is, that it is almost impossible to remember. Here are some passwords I quickly generated:
Can you remember any of those and use daily? I certainly cannot.
Using ‘easy to pronounce’ or ‘easy to say’ option helps a bit but I think that we may still experience some difficulty when recalling such passwords. Here are 3 ‘easy to pronounce’ passwords:
Our brains seem to remember better, if there is certain meaning or logic attached to the word. However, using a simple word from the dictionary or name is not a good idea. We can easily remember it but it is also relatively easy to break via ‘brute force’ or similar online attacks.
But what if there was a clever way to create a difficult to break yet relatively easy to remember passwords? Luckily there is 🙂
A couple of months ago I was reading The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload*, a book by Daniel Levitin. One of the chapters included a handy method of creating passwords. Here is how to do it.
Basically we start with a sentence and the first letters of the sentence will form a password. Here are a few sample sentences.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969.
I learn how to program with Ruby on Rails 5.1.
My favourite TV programme on Netflix is Sense 8.
These sentences should be relatively easy to remember and I think this is possible, especially if we say then a couple of times aloud.
Now check what passwords will we get from these sentences:
I think that they are relatively strong passwords already, but we can spice them up a bit further. Letters o and s resemble a bit numbers 0 and 5, so we can replace them. We could also use NFX for Netflix. Here are the same password after our small tweaks:
After these changes I have check another online tool that can assess how strong the passwords are. There are quite a few of these tools and some gave me different results. Some website claimed that breaking these passwords would take millions of years, but the most conservative on, password.kaspersky.com estimated that it would take approximately 400 years to break them. I think therefore that they are strong enough 🙂
Now, we need to remember one more thing. It is a bad practice to use the same password for each website. We could change these passwords depending on the website we log on. We could for instance add the first and last letter from each website to our password. When login on amazon and using our standard password MfTVp0NFXiS8 we could use aMfTVp0NFXiS8n (I added ‘a’ the first letter to the beginning of the password and letter ‘n’ to the end of the password.). Naturally, you could be more secretive and put these or different letters from the domain name in different places of our password.
I think that this method is quite effective and use it when logging online and accessing my computers.
Another good solution for using secure passwords
As mentioned, I think this is a good method for remembering passwords and use it regularly. However, there is one more solution I have to mention in this article. I am talking about password managers. I will probably cover this topic more extensively soon but for now some basic information.
Password managers are special programs for storing strong passwords. They can help us when browsing the internet (software is present in web browsers as extension) or when using application on mobile devices. The basic idea is simple, we have just one strong password (you can use method described above) and the program securely stores all other passwords. Password manager remembers the passwords you type, replace passwords, generate new passwords and even log you on automatically. The same password manager can be available in your web browser and mobile devices.
As mentioned, I will write more about it soon, for now just two addresses where you can download the best, in my opinion, password managers. Both program offer some functionality free of charge so are definitely worth checking.
I hope you had found this information useful and it will help you to create secure passwords. Please feel to leave a comment below if you have any question regarding this topic.