strong-password

Creating a strong password is an easy task for anyone. The huge challenge is how to create a strong password you can remember.

This is a comprehensive guide on how to make a strong password you can remember for multiple accounts you have for your registered web apps, software or any accounts associated with a password access level.

What is a strong password?

First, let’s dive into what makes a strong password. Wikipedia’s Common Guidelines for a Strong Password lists down some common guidelines for general ideas:

  • Use a minimum password length of 12 to 14 characters.
  • Include lowercase and uppercase alphabetic characters, numbers and symbols.
  • Generate passwords randomly where feasible.

Strong Password Examples

Nothing beats seeing some real examples of a strong password to get clearer picture of overall idea. A quick example of a strong password based on the guidelines above is al9G^k,/?12sdF*.

To get better understanding of how a strong password should look like. Refer to the following table comparison of password strength to get more inspirations on all these work out.

OK Password: Better Password: Strong Password:
carl 1carl 1ci77y
susan Susan53 .Susan53.
jellyfish jelly22fish J3lly22Fish
allwhite Allwhites! A11wh1t3k$!
Rihanna R1hanna R1h@nn@
adamsandler adamSandler #adamS@ndler
ilovemypiano ILoveMyPiano ILov3MyPi@no
ihateliverandonions 1Hateliver@ndonions 1Hat3liver@Onions!
mypuppylikescheese MyPuppyLikesCh33s3 .MyPuppyLikesCh33s3

Lifehacker has also put together a very informative infographic for creating a strong password:

How to make a strong password

Image Credit: http://lifehacker.com/5876541/use-this-infographic-to-pick-a-good-strong-password

Innovative ideas on How to Make a Strong Password You Can Remember

We have come to the important gem of this entire resource. Following are Charles Internet’s unique ways to make a strong password you can remember for your multiple accounts on Internet.

01. Choose a story to associate with your password

Think of a story, preferably not easily being guessed that you can relate to the password you are going to set. Make sure you are the only one who knows that ‘story’.

For example, the story could be “I want to be a Billionaire“.
Hence, the password could be formed by extracting out only the initial of each word:

I want to be a Billionaire = iwtbaB

There you go! You have formed your first strong alphabet story-based password.

The most powerful part of this idea is that the story could be in any of your choice of native language – English, Chinese pin yin, Spanish, France, Japanese, Korean, Indonesia, India and more – which will make it even harder to guess if it’s not just plain English.

REMINDER: Never associate a relevant story to the account you have set up.

Now, let’s move on to the next idea for generating number-based password.

02. Take out your old handphone

Before the Smartphone Era, everyone was used to text, and use the Prediction Text Typing on the most classic handphone, e.g Nokia 3310 in those days. Just in case, you weren’t aware how to use the prediction text, let’s look at an example with image illustration below:

old-phone-keyboard

Think of a story, and imagine you are typing on the handphone, pressing the keypads to type the word.
Let’s use different story as example, ‘I Love You’:

I Love You = 45683968 based on Prediction Text Typing

Therefore, your potential number-based password is 45683968 using this example.

03. Replace word with number

Replace the shot form word with number, those that pronounce very similar to your understand. Examples:

Convert Word to Number

Want ——-> 1
To ——-> 2
For ——-> 4

Let’s say you intend to associate the password with ‘ I want to be a Millionaire’. So, your potential password could be ‘i12baM’ based on combinations of first creative step.

04. Replace word with short form or abbreviation

Replace word with short form or abbreviation, preferably short form that not everyone commonly understood. Remember, all these ideas are meant to be easily remembered but not easily being guessed out.

Examples:

Convert Word to Shortform / Abbreviation

Because ——-> bcoz
Why ——-> y
Love ——-> Luv
Be Right Back ——-> brb

So, again incorporating these as part of your password creation.

05. Insert Special Characters as part of the password

Special Characters are:- (    [ ] ; ‘ , . “/ !+_@#$%^&*()-=<>?:{}|\    )

This is considerably the most difficult part to remember once you blend in Special Characters as part of the password.

Here are few tricks that you can use to remember special character better:

1. Most keyboards are generally QWERTY standard keyboard, where many of these special characters are positioned on the same keypad as the number. For example:

1 <——->   !
2 <——->   @
3 <——->   #
4 <——->   $
5 <——->   %

Hence, whichever number you are going to use as the password, press a ‘Shift’ to turn it into special character instead. In other words, you still remember the ‘numbers’ as part the password, but each time you type it, you gotta press ‘shift’ to turn the number into special character instead.

2. For every alphabet that is adjacent to the special characters, so include that special characters adjacent to it as part of the password. Examples:

L ——-> ;
M <——-> ,
U <——-> &

Embedding in Special Characters into your password is definitely going to make it extremely strong, reducing your chance of being hacked.

06. FINAL STEP: Blend all 5 processes above into one single password

Now that you have all the 5 ideas above, please understand that you have to use all these 5 ideas + any unique ideas you have and blend them all into one password.

Not to mention, you shouldn’t use one universal password for all your accounts, or else, it’s an Online Account Suicide.

How Strong is My Password?

How strong is my password? Well, this is a question that has been asked million times due to the tremendous resources on Internet with massive amount of definitions of a strong password. There are both Manual and Automated on checking how strong is the password you have created.

Manual Way to check how strong is your password

One manual action you can check how strong is your password is using the guidelines from the resources mentioned above and check it. However, this is very time consuming to get an estimation of how strong is your password.

Automated Way to check how strong is your password

Time is money. So, you should opt for an automated way of checking your password strength effectively.

FIrst Option: How Secure Is My Password tool
Check how strong is your password using How Secure is My Password tool to get a rough estimation on how strong your password is.

How Secure is My Password tool provides hands-on educational feedback based on the password you enter in the input box. However, you should take note that the results cannot be always accurate and serves as an estimation only.

One of the strong passwords sample I have entered into the input box based on guidelines above, received such feedback:

How Strong Is Your Password Tool

The weaker your password is, the more suggestions it provides to make your password stronger. Here’s an example weak password entered in the input box:

How Strong Is Your Password Tool

One great advantage of this tool is that it transmits data over HTTPS connection which is pretty secure in a way.

However, you should proceed with your own risk of using the site. We are not affiliated in any way with the suggested site. It was suggested based on helpfulness of the site as a quick estimation of the password strength and educational purpose.

Second Option: Password Meter tool
I found Password Meter tool to be another handy resource in estimating a good strong password. However, I’m a little bit hesitated to recommend this tool because it doesn’t transmits data over HTTPS connection as the first option which is a huge turn-down.

Use this in your own risk as we wouldn’t be sure if they actually store your password or not, which I believe no. Again, use it with precaution.

We tested this tool with a considerable weak ‘Password’ as the password and it returned this:

How Strong is Your Password Tool

What interesting about this Password Meter tool is you can see that it gives you a full description about the positive and negative points about the password with type, rates etc. to calculate a score of the password with some details explanation.

More Tips on How to Create a Strong Password

With a good understanding on what makes a strong password and how to check its strength, you should now review some highly recommended ways of how to make a strong password tips.

  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication
  • Avoid Worst Passwords
  • Leverage Login with Google, Facebook, Twitter and more

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Use Two-Factor Authentication for all websites that support it. This is a top recommendation by many what experts believe to mitigate the risk of your password being hacked included the Head of Google’s Webspam team, Matt Cutts.

Matt Cutts strongly suggested to enable Two-Factor Authentication in his own word:

Two-factor authentication means “something you know” (like a password) and “something you have,” which can be an object like a phone.

Still no idea what Two-Factor Authentication is all about? Google Support page helps to explain how Two-Factor Authentication works:

1. Enter your password
Whenever you sign in to Google you’ll enter your username and password as usual.

2. You’ll be asked for something else
Then, you’ll be asked for a code that will be sent to you via text, voice call, or our mobile app. Or, if you have a Security Key, you can insert it into your computer’s USB port.

Avoid Worst Passwords

Now, this is one very obvious way for strong password tips is of course to avoid your password being listed on the Worst Passwords of all time list:

NO Top 1-100 Top 101–200 Top 201–300 Top 301–400 Top 401–500
1 123456 porsche firebird prince rosebud
2 password guitar butter beach jaguar
3 12345678 chelsea united amateur great
4 1234 black turtle 7777777 cool
5 pussy diamond steelers muffin cooper
6 12345 nascar tiffany redsox 1313
7 dragon jackson zxcvbn star scorpio
8 qwerty cameron tomcat testing mountain
9 696969 654321 golf shannon madison
10 mustang computer bond007 murphy 987654
11 letmein amanda bear frank brazil
12 baseball wizard tiger hannah lauren
13 master xxxxxxxx doctor dave japan
14 michael money gateway eagle1 naked
15 football phoenix gators 11111 squirt
16 shadow mickey angel mother stars
17 monkey bailey junior nathan apple
18 abc123 knight thx1138 raiders alexis
19 pass iceman porno steve aaaa
20 fuckme tigers badboy forever bonnie
21 6969 purple debbie angela peaches
22 jordan andrea spider viper jasmine
23 harley horny melissa ou812 kevin
24 ranger dakota booger jake matt
25 iwantu aaaaaa 1212 lovers qwertyui
26 jennifer player flyers suckit danielle
27 hunter sunshine fish gregory beaver
28 fuck morgan porn buddy 4321
29 2000 starwars matrix whatever 4128
30 test boomer teens young runner
31 batman cowboys scooby nicholas swimming
32 trustno1 edward jason lucky dolphin
33 thomas charles walter helpme gordon
34 tigger girls cumshot jackie casper
35 robert booboo boston monica stupid
36 access coffee braves midnight shit
37 love xxxxxx yankee college saturn
38 buster bulldog lover baby gemini
39 1234567 ncc1701 barney cunt apples
40 soccer rabbit victor brian august
41 hockey peanut tucker mark 3333
42 killer john princess startrek canada
43 george johnny mercedes sierra blazer
44 sexy gandalf 5150 leather cumming
45 andrew spanky doggie 232323 hunting
46 charlie winter zzzzzz 4444 kitty
47 superman brandy gunner beavis rainbow
48 asshole compaq horney bigcock 112233
49 fuckyou carlos bubba happy arthur
50 dallas tennis 2112 sophie cream
51 jessica james fred ladies calvin
52 panties mike johnson naughty shaved
53 pepper brandon xxxxx giants surfer
54 1111 fender tits booty samson
55 austin anthony member blonde kelly
56 william blowme boobs fucked paul
57 daniel ferrari donald golden mine
58 golfer cookie bigdaddy 0 king
59 summer chicken bronco fire racing
60 heather maverick penis sandra 5555
61 hammer chicago voyager pookie eagle
62 yankees joseph rangers packers hentai
63 joshua diablo birdie einstein newyork
64 maggie sexsex trouble dolphins little
65 biteme hardcore white 0 redwings
66 enter 666666 topgun chevy smith
67 ashley willie bigtits winston sticky
68 thunder welcome bitches warrior cocacola
69 cowboy chris green sammy animal
70 silver panther super slut broncos
71 richard yamaha qazwsx 8675309 private
72 fucker justin magic zxcvbnm skippy
73 orange banana lakers nipples marvin
74 merlin driver rachel power blondes
75 michelle marine slayer victoria enjoy
76 corvette angels scott asdfgh girl
77 bigdog fishing 2222 vagina apollo
78 cheese david asdf toyota parker
79 matthew maddog video travis qwert
80 121212 hooters london hotdog time
81 patrick wilson 7777 paris sydney
82 martin butthead marlboro rock women
83 freedom dennis srinivas xxxx voodoo
84 ginger fucking internet extreme magnum
85 blowjob captain action redskins juice
86 nicole bigdick carter erotic abgrtyu
87 sparky chester jasper dirty 777777
88 yellow smokey monster ford dreams
89 camaro xavier teresa freddy maxwell
90 secret steven jeremy arsenal music
91 dick viking 11111111 access14 rush2112
92 falcon snoopy bill wolf russia
93 taylor blue crystal nipple scorpion
94 111111 eagles peter iloveyou rebecca
95 131313 winner pussies alex tester
96 123123 samantha cock florida mistress
97 bitch house beer eric phantom
98 hello miller rocket legend billy
99 scooter flower theman movie 6666
100 please jack oliver success albert

SplashData, which makes password management applications, has released its annual list of the 25 worst passwords based on files containing over 3.3. million passwords leaked in 2014.

The full list of the worst password of 2014 released by SplashData:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345
  4. 12345678
  5. qwerty
  6. 123456789
  7. 1234
  8. baseball
  9. dragon
  10. football
  11. 1234567
  12. monkey
  13. letmein
  14. abc123
  15. 111111
  16. mustang
  17. access
  18. shadow
  19. master
  20. michael
  21. superman
  22. 696969
  23. 123123
  24. batman
  25. trustno1

Looks familiar? If it happens that your password is listed on anywhere on this Worst Password list. Please change your password immediately.

Leverage Login with Google, Facebook, Twitter and more

There are more and more websites today implemented and provided you an option to login with Google, Facebook, Twitter or other popular social media account. One of them is the very popular Question and Answer Social Media, Quora as shown below:

Login with Google on Quora

Why you should leverage on Login With Google, Facebook etc?
The reason being is, you can login to the site using Google Login Session, meaning you just need to log in to your Google account, and the site which you authorize utilizes the login session of your Google account to provide you access to the service.

But, beware of a trick by some websites which I found it annoying. Some websites seem to offer you with the ‘Login With Google’ option, but it still requires you to enter your password after selecting the option ‘Login With Google’ because they only pulled data from your respective accounts  (Google, Facebook or Twitter account) but not the login session.

I usually quickly disallow websites that do this as all I wanted originally was to login with my google account instead of entering another new password.

Other General Strong Password Tips

  • Avoid Predictable Password Formulas
  • Use a Unique Password for Each Site
  • Use Truly Random Passwords
  • Avoid using information that is or might become publicly associated with the user or the account
  • Avoid using information that the user’s colleagues and/or acquaintances might know to be associated with the user
  • Avoid character repetition, keyboard patterns, dictionary words, letter or number sequences, usernames, relative or pet names, romantic links (current or past) and biographical information (e.g., ID numbers, ancestors’ names or dates)
  • Do not use passwords which consist wholly of any simple combination of the aforementioned weak components

Why a lot of People Gave Up on Creating a Strong Password

Most people gave up after forgetting many times of the strong password they created. Remember, the password that you set is not permanent or rigid. You can change it whenever you want to.

The fist time I adopted very strong complicated password for many different accounts, I tend to keep forgetting the passwords. Well, just hit the ‘Forgot Password’ from the service account you are using, and think of new password using the resources from this page to reset your forgotten password.

The effective process of this is to keep repeating this entire process until you finally remember the strong password you have created for your accounts.

If you use the account often enough, you will eventually able to remember the strong password you set after doing it many many times – The key point here is to practice  Practice makes better.

Conclusion

It worth all the hassles and inconvenience once you master how to create a strong password you can remember especially in this Technology Era, where we have more Internet accounts than collection of cards. It’s better to be inconvenient than to be sorry.

As a summary of this, the one key secret to remember a strong password is to associate a story with the account but highly irrelevant to make it not guessable.

Best of Luck in staying secure on Internet with a strong password!

Do you have better ideas that you can share with us for creating strong password that can be easily remembered?

Do leave your comments below to share with us for a safer Internet community to live. 🙂