Strong vs Weak Passwords
Any password that is easy for others to guess is a weak password. It can be a simple word, personal information (such as your phone number), or a commonly used password like “password”, “1234”, “qwerty”, and “iloveyou”. A short password consisting of too few characters can also be defined as a weak password as it can be easily cracked by the hackers.
A strong password, on the other hand, is difficult for hackers to guess or crack. It typically includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters and is long, ideally at least 12 characters or more.
Contrast to what most believe – a strong, complex password doesn’t have to be hard to remember. With the right strategy and approach, the best passwords can actually be the easiest to remember. In this article, we will go through some ideas where you can generate strong passwords that are both complex and easy to memorize.
1. Modify Words with Random Characters
This method involves using a specific word or phrase and adding random symbols or characters to it. You can add a random symbol like “#” or “@” before the alphabet “s” to your existing password and make it harder to guess. This method is effective because it makes it harder for hackers to use a dictionary attack to guess your password.
Adding different symbols or punctuations or or words before every alphabet “w”:
- Passamyword (adding the word “amy” before “w”)
2. Repeat Your Password
This method involves repeating the same password multiple times. For example, you can use the password “passwordpassword” or “passwordpasswordpassword”.
3. Swap Some Letters with Numbers
Instead of using letters, you can use numbers that look similar to letters, such as 0 instead of o, 3 instead of E, 8 instead of B, 1 instead of l, and so on. This tactic makes your password hard to crack with brute force methods.
4. Use a Mnemonic
A mnemonic is a memory aid that helps you remember information more easily. It is a technique or device, such as a rhyme or acronym, that assists in recall. Mnemonics can be used to remember a variety of information, such as lists, facts, or procedures.
For instance, in the phrase “Every good boy does fine” is used as a mnemonic to remember the musical notes E, G, B, D, and F on the lines of a musical staff. In passwords, it can be used as a way to make a password that is easy for the user to remember but hard for others to guess, by using the first letter of each word of a meaningful phrase or sentence.
- mfcwabH (My first car was a black Honda)
- iwbiTJ (I was born in Tokyo, Japan)
- mnitMiA (My name in the Matrix is Anderson)
5. String Random (but Meaningful to You) Words Together
By stringing random words together, you can create a password that is easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. For example, “dolphinbanana” is a combination of two random words that creates a unique and secure password.
- BananaPizzaMinestrone (three of your favorite foods)
- JakartaBarcelonaLasVegas (three of your favorite cities)
- MichealJordanTimBurtonMom (three of your favorite persons)
6. Create a Weird Formula
One way to create a unique and secure password is to use a formula that is not easily guessable. You can use a combination of random words, numbers and symbols that follow a specific pattern such as “word*number+symbol” and change it every time you need a new password.
7. Make Email Address Password
Another way to create a unique password is to use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that resemble an email address. Instead of using “password” you can use “email@example.com”, this way it’s easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. This technique is useful for those who want to create a password that is easy to remember but hard to guess.
8. Use Misspelling Words
Another way to create a unique and secure password is to intentionally misspell a word. For example, instead of using “password”, you can use “passwort” or “pasword”. By intentionally misspelling a word, you’re making it less likely that a hacker’s automated tools will be able to guess your password. Plus, it’s also an easy way to remember your password since you’ll know how you misspelled it. You can even take it one step further and intentionally misspell a phrase like “I love cheese burgers” becomes “I luv cheez bg”.
- Klickthis3button (Click these 3 buttons)
- Iluvhondacarz (I love Honda cars)
- Gohinlo4u (Go high and low for you)
How Strong Are Your Passwords?
When you create a new online account, some websites will show you a “strength meter” to indicate how strong your password is. But don’t be fooled! These meters don’t always give you the full story. Just because a password has a mix of characters and is long doesn’t mean it’s actually secure. A password like “p@ssword123” might be rated as “Secured” by some tools, but it’s not safe at all.
A great way to check the real strength of your password is to use one of these advanced password checkers. On top of analyzing your password length and character types, these tools also:
- Analyze your password syntax (repeated characters, common dictionary words, etc)
- Check your password for exposure to any breaches
- Compare your password with hundreds of millions of other leaked passwords to see how unique it is
To make sure your password is strong, it’s important to make sure it’s at least 8 characters long, truly random and not made up of easily guessable words or keyboard patterns, and has a mix of different character types like upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and punctuation.
Just like how a castle with a moat, drawbridge and a dragon is a better fortress than a simple wooden fence, a strong password is one that is harder to crack for hackers.
The internet can be a wild and dangerous place, and you never know when a hacker might be lurking around the corner, looking for an easy target.
And believe it or not, that target could be something as simple as your password.
Just like how you wouldn’t leave your valuables lying around for anyone to grab, you shouldn’t keep your online accounts with weak passwords. You don’t want to be the next victim of an identity theft, so always be mindful of your passwords.