Choosing a strong passwordIt is very important to choose a secure password to help protect your identity and information on the Internet. I previously wrote about strong password suggestions and how easy it is for bad guys and hackers to guess your weak password. In this article, I will walk you through a process on how you can create passwords that are not only secure but more importantly easy to remember. After all, you don’t want to forget your secure password. At the end of every step, I will show you how strong that password is.

Step 1: Choose a passphrase and create a pattern

The first step is to choose a sentence or a line that you know and is easy to remember. For example, I will use a generic sentence “Create a strong password for my bank account“. Now, select the first alphabet from your sentence. This would be

Caspfmba

Choosing a strong password
A weak password with just alphabets

Step 2: Add Numbers

You can choose any combination but I would recommend on choosing the first letter of each word and doing simple substitutions such as 4 for “for”. Doing this substituion, we get

Casp4mba

Choosing a strong password
A better password with numbers

Step 3: Add special characters

The above password is reasonably strong but let us make it better by adding special characters. Special characters are those you get when you press <shift> key plus one of the numbers on your keyboard.

To the password we created above, I will add special characters $ and :

$Casp4mba:

A strong password
A strong password with numbers and special characters

Step 4: Associate it with a website

Again, there are ways to add more complexity to make it a strong password, but for the sake of remembering a password, choose a pattern and stick with it. You can choose the major words and pick the first alphabet (BoA for Bank of America), choose a website/company’s stock name (amz for Amazon) or some other pattern. But choose one, and stick with it.

For example:

$Casp4mba:BoA for Bank of America

Fb$Caspmba: for Facebook

$Casp4mba:Amz for Amazon

Gm$Casp4mba: for Gmail

Choosing a strong password
Choosing a strong password

Step 5: Final Recommendation

I will recommend choosing three different passphrases. One for generic everyday accounts (e.g. some coupon site), another for more important accounts (e.g. your Gmail account) and finally another for very critical websites (e.g. your bank account).

Now, go try it yourself!

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