Instructables

How to Choose a Good Password: A few quick tips on how to stay safe

Picture of How to Choose a Good Password: A few quick tips on how to stay safe
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Your password is more than just a key to your online account. If your password falls into the wrong hands, someone can easily impersonate you while online, sign your name to online service agreements or contracts, engage in transactions, or change your account information. So, choose your password carefully and then keep it safe from others.

A password is like a toothbrush: Choose a good one and don't share it.

A password can be any length, and can contain spaces, symbols, or numbers. With so many options, you should be able to come up with a password that's easy for you to remember but impossible for someone else to figure out. A password is a secret that only you should know.

Wanna make a good Password? Hit that next step button and find out how....

Most of the tips in this instructable taken from the Yahoo Security Blog. Check it out to stay up to date on computer security!
 
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Step 1: How should that password be? What aspects should it have?

Picture of How should that password be? What aspects should it have?
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First and most important of all: A good Password should be memorable for you, yet hard for others to guess.

You might have the greatest Password on Earth, but It's worth nothing if you don't easily remember it!

A good example would be a celebrity's birth date. No one could guess that as a password, and you can easily look it up if you forget.



Avoid using a word. Avoid a complete word from a dictionary (English or otherwise) or a name.


You'd be surprised how easy it is for someone who knows you to guess your password. They know exactly what to expect, and what not to expect.

Example:

Use Psterboard instead of Posterboard



Use at least 10 characters.


The more characters your password contains, the harder it is for someone to guess it. A long but simple password can be safer than a short, complex one  and often easier to remember.

Example:

Johnnywenttotheparkyesterday might be safer than 3iblesrules4



Use a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and standard symbols (! @ # $ % & *).


If the place that you want to create a password for differences capital and lowercase letters, be sure to use both. Even if someone hears your password, a different capitalization can make a difference.

Example:

Instead of automobile, write aUTomObile



Don't use personal information that someone could easily figure out.


Avoid a password based on information easily obtained about you (like your birthday, your child or pet's name, phone number, license plate number, employer, school name, automobile brand, or street name).

Don't use a password you already use for another account, such as your bank account PIN.

Like I said above, people who know you know what and what not to expect from you.

Example:

Try not to use your screenname as your password. Not even with Different capitalization or spelling.



Avoid the obvious.


This is where a lot of people screw up. People think that if they use a password thats not even a word or something along those lines, they'll be safe. People think that if they use something totally irrational, no one will expect that.

Stay away from obvious passwords such as "test" or "password."

When you change your password, change several characters; don't just append a number like "2" to the end. And make sure anyone watching you enter your password can't guess it as you type (such as a password typed using a single hand, like "qwerty").

Example/

Don't make it easy for attackers by repeating a digit or letter (like "111111" or "FFFFFF") or any other common sequence of characters (like "123456").



Put a new spin on a familiar phrase. MiX i+ Up!!


This is where you start mixing and experimenting with the above tips.

Pick a favorite phrase or lyric for your password.

To shorten it, substitute letters with a number or a standard symbol or remove vowels. For example, "fredsboy" can be made into "Fr3d$boy." Shorten "two tickets to paradise" to "2Tickets2Paradiz," or combine "cat" and "dog" into "cAt!Do8."



If you use a password generator, be careful.


Make sure you can identify and trust the creator of a password management or generator program. Never share any personal information unless you trust the company or person you're working with.

Online password-generator programs can help you create a random password that is generally harder to crack but also more difficult to remember.

Another factor to consider, is that sooner or later, you could find patterns in these, and eventually know what to expect.

Source - How do I choose my password?
Natalia3 years ago
Nice tips and I'd use them if not a nice app that I found a year ago - Rohos Logon Key. No need to remember password anymore, just have to have my USB key with me. Love it, makes my office work easier.
RedFlash5 years ago
The easiest way to get of "Anything that flashes" is to get firefox and install ad-block on it. Simply click on the block tab above the ads and they are gone forever! (Some are a little harder to exterminate)
P.S. Also don't try this: p@55w0rd That's the most known one!
flactemnad6 years ago
My favorite method of obscuring passwords is vowel replacements like this: a=@, e=3, i=1, o=0, u=, or some form of that. Then you can use words that have meaning to you like: I Want Access = 1w@nt@cc3ss

You can also use guidelines like only replacing the characters on your second word like this: circus elephant = circus3l3ph@nt
. . ¨¨¨
Derin Derin5 years ago
1337 p455vv0rdz!
Keith-Kid (author)  flactemnad6 years ago
good idea!
lemonie5 years ago
Largely lifted from here or someone else who copied that also?

L
Keith-Kid (author)  lemonie5 years ago
I said I took most of it from that blog.
Ah, well I don't think any one will care, it's still better than mine - not a great deal about passwords on this site... L
Keith-Kid (author)  lemonie5 years ago
I thought I had put a link, saying that that was my source. Well, this is embarassing..... I shall correct this right now! But yes, its pretty much all taken from there.
Derin5 years ago
Another thing to do could be take a popular password and add something small like a dot to it.For example,"password.".The dot is part of the pass.
Keith-Kid (author)  Derin5 years ago
Actually, a password generator can easily get around that.
The Jamalam5 years ago
my mate got an email about giving him a free 1,000,000 gp on runescape if you emailed back the password and he couldn't log in afterwards, maybe say something like dont give your passwords to any emails, suspicious programes etc.
Keith-Kid (author)  The Jamalam5 years ago
Well, thats pretty obvious, and Im sorry to say, that whoever falls for that, is a fool. Simple as that.
fwjs286 years ago
ƒ±╚T...that used to be my password....its alt=159 then alt=753 then alt=456 then alt=852...alt codes are pretty secure....except for brute force hackers....
FrozenStar6 years ago
great instructable but what would letmein be used for?
Keith-Kid (author)  FrozenStar6 years ago
Hey, people think no one would guess that as a password. If you really like it, rate it please!
I gave you a generous 5 because this was so informative :)
Gjdj36 years ago
New Instructable from Keith Kid! Anyway, nice job. This is well done. The only thing I would change is the thing about 7 letters. It's actually normally recommended that you use 10+ letters now that hacking software has advanced. Other than that though, great job!
Keith-Kid (author)  Gjdj36 years ago
OK! Thanks!
westfw6 years ago
Alas, the problem I have is coming up with about a dozen DIFFERENT passwords, just to cover the different classes of security. The most secure passwords go to work, plus banks, brokerages, and things like paypal. Real money, and real confidential information there. And they can't SHARE an ultra-secure password either, because the likely scenarios for password theft includes a disgruntled employee taking the list with them and seeing where else it might work. Assorted stores come next, especially if they have active billing info. Then email accounts. At the bottom are the assorted blogs and forums (I mean, how much do I really care if someone impersonates me on a forum for discussing a web comic?)
ac1D6 years ago
nice instructable, but you may want to add.. not to use something wich is in a dictionnary, as some program try all the dictionnary. also it is way more easy to crack a password like "dfnoajhngui" than a password like "¬ASG4¬²~´{¸<" Anyway, password will alway be useless! nice instructable.
Keith-Kid (author)  ac1D6 years ago
The dictionary thing is already there, as for the other thing, I shall look it up!
ac1D Keith-Kid6 years ago
sorry, did not see it!
ac1D ac1D6 years ago
Oh, also, today I have been the 1,000,000 visitor 5 time on the same website :-)
Keith-Kid (author)  ac1D6 years ago
Hahaha!!!
DJ Radio6 years ago
Nice one, pretty funny too! 5*