The best way to create strong passwords is easier than you might think.  And maybe kind of fun.  Here’s how to get started. 

Ok, coming up with passwords isn’t really fun.  Especially when it seems like every time you turn around you’re asked to change one.  But each time you change a password, you’re helping to protect your computer from being hacked.  It’s worth it.

Plus, there’s a way other than choosing random streams of letters and numbers you can’t remember.

How to Create Strong Passwords

Put together letters and numbers that appear random but make sense to you.  For example, mash together the address of your childhood home with the name of your office street.  Or, a special birth date with the month of your anniversary.

Throw in an extra character or two, like an exclamation point or question mark, and you’re set.

Until we can unlock any device with a fingerprint (or retinal scan), here are some other best practices for passwords:

  • Use a unique password for each account.
  • Don’t share your passwords.
  • Keep them in a safe place, not written down and stored in easy-to-find places.
  • Remember to reset the password on any new device. Factory-set passwords offer an open door to hackers.

How to Avoid the Worst Passwords

Avoid passwords that contain:

  • Only one common word (a color, day of the week, fruit, animal, etc.)
  • Only letters
  • Only sequential numbers
  • No special characters
  • Pop culture words or phrases (Star Wars is big right now)

Creating strong passwords is a challenge, which is why many of the same passwords appear on “worst lists” every year.  Here’s the 2017 list of worst passwords from Splashdata (123456 has been at the top of the list for many years):

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. 12345
  6. 123456789
  7. letmein
  8. 1234567
  9. football
  10. iloveyou
  11. admin
  12. welcome
  13. monkey
  14. login
  15. abc123
  16. starwars
  17. 123123
  18. dragon
  19. passw0rd
  20. master
  21. hello
  22. freedom
  23. whatever
  24. qazwsx
  25. trustno1

Take the time to create strong passwords to protect your valuable information.  Maybe you’ll have a little fun while you’re at it, too.

To learn more about how CRU Solutions can help with password management and other IT security issues, contact us.