Last week, I alluded to the need to have a 14+ character password with both alpha- and numeric keystrokes. This is because I heard that even 12 character passwords can be cracked within a matter of days, if not hours. And then I stumbled on this website, called HowSecureIsMyPassword.net, where you can enter your passwords to find out how fast a PC can crack it. The 10 character password I used to use can be cracked in only three hours.
So, I did about three seconds of internet research for creating strong passwords, and copied these tips from Wikipedia:
- Password length should be around 12 to 14 characters if permitted, and longer still if possible while remaining memorable
- Use randomly generated passwords where feasible
- Avoid any password based on repetition, dictionary words, letter or number sequences, usernames, relative or pet names, romantic links (current or past), or biographical information (e.g., ID numbers, ancestors’ names or dates)
- Include numbers, and symbols in passwords if allowed by the system
- If the system recognizes case as significant, use capital and lower-case letters
- Avoid using the same password for multiple sites or purposes
- If you write your passwords down, keep the list in a safe place, such as a wallet or safe, not attached to a monitor or in an unlocked desk drawer
I like using initials of words that have meaning to only myself as a way to memorize your password, and then throw in symbols and numbers until you get to 14.
Any tips you have to share? Please comment!