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How to create a strong password

By Edited Jul 8, 2016 1 0

Learn how to quickly and easily create strong passwords that are easy to remember. Learn how to create passwords that are difficult for others to crack/guess and is unique to the different web sites and services you use. Learn about online safety.

Do you have a hard time coming up with complex passwords for your logins? Do you have an even harder time remembering the password that just you came up with? Do you occasionally find yourself having to use the "forgot password" feature to retrieve a newly created password just because it was too hard to remember?

In today's day and age, we are faced with having to maintain several logins and passwords for the many different web sites and services we use. How many web sites and services do you use? Let's see… there are email services such as Microsoft's Live Mail, Google's GMail, and the likes. Then there are the social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and similar sites. How about the article type sites, online forum sites, your school account (to register for classes), your office's network logins, banking sites… and the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, most of us will probably have at least 5 different logins for the different web sites and services we use. For the more active web users, they probably have 15 or more different logins to varying web sites and services. So how do you maintain your passwords for all these web sites and services?

Some people use the same password for all of their different logins. Yes this method is the simplest as there is only one password to remember however it is also highly not recommended because if someone was able to crack one of your passwords, they will be able to log into all of your other web sites and services.

It is best that you create and maintain different passwords for each login. This sounds easier than it actually is. Each web site and service may have their own variance on how passwords should be created, called password complexity. Here are some examples of common password complexity:

Password Complexity

  1. Minimum length (6 characters long).
  2. Cannot contain the user's account name.
  3. Must contain at least one lowercase alphabet (a through z).
  4. Must contain at least one uppercase alphabet (A through Z).
  5. Must contain at least one digit (0 through 9).
  6. Must contain at least one punctuation or symbol (!, @, $, %, &, etc...).

Some web sites and services uses/requires password to have 3 of the above password complexity. So how do we create easy complex passwords?

Here are two strategies for creating challenging passwords that use the above password complexity requirements:

Method 1 - For the one finger typers

  1. Start off by creating a meaningful sentence. Let's use the sentence "infobarrel is a great web site to write for".
  2. Let's take the first letter of each word. The sentence now becomes the password, "iiagwstwf". We are left with 9 letters. This step fulfills password complexity #1 (at least 6 characters long).
  3. Let's take the last letter and make it uppercase. The password now becomes "iiagwstwF". This step fulfills the password complexity #3 (at least one character is lowercase) and #4 (at least one uppercase character).
  4. Let's take all the letters "i" and replace them to the number 1. The password now becomes "11agwstwF". This step fulfills the password complexity #5 (at least one digit).
  5. Let's take the letter "a" and replace it with the "@" symbol. The password now becomes 11@gwstsF. This step fulfills the password complexity #6 (at least one punctuation or symbol character).

Method 2 - For the two hand typers.

  1. Let's use the sentence "please leave a comment on this article".
  2. Let's take the first letter of each word. The sentence now becomes the password "placota". We are left with 7 letters. This step fulfills password complexity #1 (at least 6 characters long).
  3. Put both hands on the keyboard, in the normal typing stance. Your fingers on the left hand should be on the following keys: "a, s, d, f". Your fingers on the right hand should be on the following keys: "j, k, l, ;".
    Normal keyboard position

    Let's shift your hands position to one key row up and one key to the right. The new hand position would be: left hand on the keys "w, e, r, t" and right hand "I, o, p, [".
    Shifted keyboard position

    Type out the word "plactoa" as if your hands were on the regular typing position. The password now becomes "-pwf06w". This step fulfills the password complexity #3 (at least one lowercase character), #5 (at least one digit) and #6 (at least one punctuation or symbol character).
  4. Let's take the last letter and make it uppercase. The password becomes "-pwf06W". This step fulfills the password complexity #4 (at least one uppercase character).


The above shows us how to create complex passwords but this is still one password every login. You don't want to have to create different passwords as you don't want to have to remember more than one password. Well the answer to this is to use the web site's domain name. Let me explain…

Let's say you want to create a password for your Google AdSense and Amazon accounts. You would use the password you created with Method 1 or Method 2 and append the first 2 characters of the site's domain name.

For Google AdSense:
Google's domain name is "google.com". The first two letters of Google's domain is "go".
Method 1 password was "11@gwstsF" so it would be "11@gwstsFgo".
Method 2 password was "-pwf06W" so it would be "-pwf06Wgo".

For Amazon:
Amazon's domain name is "amazon". The first two letters of Amazon's domain is "am".
Method 1 password was "11@gwstsF" so it would be "11@gwstsFam".
Method 2 password was "-pwf06W" so it would be "-pwf06Wam".

As you can see, the passwords will be slightly different for all your different web sites and services. You can mix and match the different strategies and methods to create different variations. Combine methods 1 and 2 together to create complex passwords to your liking. Instead of shifting both hands, shift only the left hand a key to the right. Instead of using the first 2 letters of the domain names, use the last 3 letters. Essentially the passwords are the same yet it is different for each web site and service and just as important, easy to remember.

With all the web sites and service we sign up for, it gets harder and harder to create good complex passwords. I hope this article will help you to create complex passwords that are easy to remember and passwords that are unique to the different web sites and services you use.

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Jun 30, 2010 2:12am
MarshellaSmith
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