If you think for a second, how many different passwords do you have?
If your answer is less than 10, you probably have the same password on two or more services which could entail greater risk. Having 98 different passwords in your password manager isn’t necessarily recommended either. Trying to keep all those passwords in your head may seem like an impossible task, especially if they’re computer generated.
So how can you create strong and safe passwords that are easy to remember?
What is a safe password?
First and foremost, what exactly is a safe password? You’ll surely recognize what I’m going to write next from the countless places you’ve created a login. It doesn’t hurt to be extra cautious, it’s actually pretty important.
A safe password should be more than 8 characters long and you should avoid using things that are easy to guess or look up. For example; names, birthday, phone number, name of a pet, you probably get it. However, including special characters such as €%&# or mixing lower- and uppercase letters is a good start.
Now you’re probably thinking ”oh, but how am I supposed to remember different passwords for all different logins that also fulfill these criteria’s?” Have no fear, there are a few different tips and tricks to help you create a unique password that is not only strong, but also easy to remember.
Use a base-password
To many it may seem impossible to remember completely unique passwords for all platforms you use. Therefore, it may be a good idea to use a base-password for different purposes and fitted to the specific service you’re using.
Let’s say you choose the word ”Password” as your base. This word can thereafter be fitted to the login that it belongs to. If the password is for Netflix, you can for example have ”NetPasswordFlix”. If the password is Outlook, it could be ”OutPasswordLook”. Choose a way that you see fit. If you only want to use the two first letters in the name of the service, the first word or maybe write it backwards works just as good.
Use special characters in your password
Many, and I mean really many, choose a password that ends with ”123” and think they’ve created a safe password. Read and weep; it actually isn’t.
We want to include these crucial special characters, but how? A good solution is switching out the letters for special characters that have a similar look. For example can ”s” be switched out with ”$” and ”o” could be a zero. Our example of ”password” could therefore turn into ”Pa$$w0rd”. You may also want to mix lower- and uppercase letters. A logical solution to this always starts with an uppercase letter but that isn’t very original. Here you could for example always start and end with uppercase letters such as ”Pa$$w0rD”.
The result – 2 quadrillion years
Putting these steps together, the base password with the name of the service and then including special signs would leave you with following:
According to howsecureismypassword, this password would take a quadrillion year to crack. Sound pretty decent, right?
Use patterns to create passwords
After reading above, you may ask yourself ”is this solution really for me?” Don’t worry, there are other ways and one of them is using patterns on your keyboard.
By using a pattern, like the example above, you can create strong passwords that look completely generated and unique to the naked eye. This could for example be the following; ”12we45ty78io”. Mix it up by blending in upper- and lowercase letters, for example the first and last letter, leaving you with: ”12We45ty78iO” which would take a computer 3000 years to crack.
Put the first words together in a phrase
Maybe you’d rather use a famous phrase to create a password. A tip is to use the first letter in every word. If you’d use the famous song “All you need is love” by the Beatles, your password would be ”aynil” which in turn wouldn’t be especially strong. However, mix this with special signs and you’ll have something a little more complex to crack. You could for example blend 13579 in-between every letter and switch out the a for “@”. The result is now ” @1y3n5i7L9”, which would take 6 years to crack.
These were only a few suggestions of how you could create a safer password without completely puzzling yourself, but of course there are countless ways to achieve this. If you want to check how secure your password is, you can test it out at How secure is my password.