Strong Passwords for Safe Data

Passwords are important and represent the only wall between bad people and your money and life.   But it is hard because we also know that passwords, and the need to remember passwords, is a challenge.  But despite the challenge, it merits attention and consider these tips and  strategy.

This recipe offers a formula for creating a strong password that can be adapted to the different sites that you access.

Recipe #010

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Learning Tips for Recipes

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Tips for Creating Strong Passwords.

Programs to crack passwords passwords are an

  • Never use personal information like children’s names or address information or even car license plate.
  • Use a longer password. Your password should be at least six characters long and eight characters is better.
  • Don’t use the same password for each account.
  • Try to include numbers, symbols, and both uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Avoid using words that can be found in the dictionary, place names even acronym or common sequences like “abcdef.”
  • Random passwords are the strongest.

Create Strong Passwords from a Favorite Phrase

Strong passwords can easily be created from a song lyric, poem or other easily remembered phrase.  The following example creates a strong password from a common children’s song.

Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow

 

 

Here is that formula from the graphic above.

  • Take a lyric from a song or a favorite phrase.  Choose something meaningful to you.
  • And then you use the first letter from each word so it becomes:    mhallifwwas
  • And then you keep any upper case lettters  MhallIfwwas
  • And then you can change some of the letters into similar numbers or special characters:  Mhallifww@$
    • Here is a change approach, replace all s’s with $, replace l’s with 1 (one), replace a’s with @, replace any number with the shifted keyboard equivalent,  1 (one) with !, 3’s with #, etc.
  • Then add a variable for the site for which it will be used.
    • Start with a punctuation like a : or .
      Add upper 1st letter and next two consonants
      Amazon = :Amz                    Facebook = :Fcb
      Google = :Ggl                       Senior Tech Club = :Snr

Remembering Passwords

Having a standard formula for a password as is proposed in the recipe will result in passwords that you should be able to remember.  Every password will be based on the same approach and will only vary by the site variable, the last three characters at the end of the password.

Write them Down

However, if you feel more comfortable by writing them down, do it.  However, promise me that you won’t record them on scraps of paper or sticky notes.  Instead,  go out to your local dollar store and buy a cheap  notebook specially for this purpose.  Organize the notebook by alphabet and leave plenty of lines between each entry so that you can log password changes.

Consider a Password Manager

If you are a little more technology savvy, you might want to consider a Password Manager.  A Password Manager is a set of tools that will help you manage, store and submit your passwords where they are required.

The Password Manager used at the Senior Tech Club is Last Pass.  It was rated the best password manager at the Lifehacker.com site and best of all, can be used for free.

 

Use strong passwords to keep your data and information safe.

The Senior Tech Club offers this guide as a public service. No approach to security can guarantee 100% security, and nothing in this publication is meant to provide any warranty or guarantee of the security of your passwords.

Check for Understanding

Use the following questions to determine if you need to read or study this recipe.  You might already have an understanding of this topic. Following your study, answer the same questions to help you check your understanding of the skills taught in this lesson.

  1. Do you have a method for creating secure passwords?
  2. Are you guilty of reusing the same password across all of your sites?

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club recommends the following additional resources for members that wish to pursue additional and/or advanced information on this recipe:

Mosaic Foundation – Create secure passwords to keep your identity safe   Includes good video

AARP TEK | How to Make Passwords Secure | AARP – YouTube 

U.S. Dept of Homeland Security – Creating a Password Tip Sheet (PDF)

 

Related Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets

Additionally, the Senior Tech Club proudly presents other Recipes and Nuggets on this topic:

NumberTitle
Strong Passwords for Safe Data
010Strong Passwords for Safe Data
Your Apple ID
011Your Apple ID
How to use iCloud to expand and optimize storage
404How to use iCloud to expand and optimize storage
Setting Up Passcodes and Touch ID
017Setting Up Passcodes and Touch ID
.

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1 Comment

  1. Joe

    Examples are very meaningful and useful. At some point, it would be good to show the simpler features of password protectors such as 1Password

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