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Password security is a huge issue for many companies. Although (we hope) most people know not to set their passwords as “password,” password security is a little more complicated than adding “123” to our favorite pet’s name. Hackers are getting better and better and cracking passwords, so we need to stay one step ahead.
Here are three steps to building an impenetrable password:
- Start with a phrase
- Ideally, the phrase should be around 12 letters long.
- Keep it simple to remember, but hard to crack.
- Try integrating hobbies or interests to make it memorable.
- Example: lovetowearhats
- Change the spelling.
- Homonyms, abbreviations and creative spelling work great (similar to customized license plates).
- Try “Two” or “Too” instead of “To” (and vice versa).
- Use “Ware” instead of “Wear.”
- Example: luvtwowarehatz
- Insert random capitalizations, symbols and numbers.
- Make sure you can remember the format without writing it down. If you get too fancy, it could prove impossible to recall.
- Have a pattern: using a capital letter on the same word of every password will help you remember.
- Try using the same number behind the first word of every password, or use the same symbol to replace a number, like “@” instead of “a” or the number zero instead of “o”.
- Example: 7luvTw0w@rehatz
Bam! Now we’ve created an impenetrable password.
A few additional password security notes: since hackers will take cracked passwords and try them to log in everywhere, never use the same password twice. Each account should have its own password. It may seem like overkill, but anyone who has had an account hacked because of poor password protocol will tell you it’s worth it.
Lastly, some services (like Facebook and Gmail) offer two-step verification, where after logging in you’ll be texted a code to enter before gaining access to your account. This is a great backup to have, just in case a hacker does crack your password but doesn’t have possession of your phone.