How to Choose a Good Password: a Few Quick Tips on How to Stay Safe




About: So, hi, I'm Keith-Kid. Who the hell are you? I am one of the regulars here at instructables. I am a tried-and-true jack of no trades with absolutely no experience in any category. Still, I'm fun. My Top Ten...

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?

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 exactlywhat to expect, and what not to expect.


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.


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.


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.


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").


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?

Step 2: Avoid These Common Passwords

You know you are supposed to pick a password that you can easily remember. Unfortunately, cyberthieves know this weakness all too well, and try to hack into accounts just by using the most common passwords online first.

PCMagazine says these are the most commonly used passwords, so if yours is on the list, I recommend you change it immediately.

1. password
2. 123456
3. qwerty
4. abc123
5. letmein
6. monkey
7. myspace 1
8. password 1
9. blink182
10. (your first name)

Any passwords that resemble these, should be avoided. You can probably think up other passwords that are too easy to figure out. Remember, a password must be hard enough, that if someone sees you typing it, they can't figure it out.

Step 3: Now It's Your Turn

I just gave you a few tips for a good password, and there's a lot more of them online, but even if you have the best password ever, it can't beat taking some simple measures to ensure that your computer is safe:

  • Don't fall for scams!

Sorry to burst your bubble, but you didn't just win a free computer for being the 10,000nth visitor to the website, but you did just get yourself a couple of spywares, a few viruses here and there, and your password just got stolen.

No websites give away free stuff for being the x number visitor, and even if one did, it would't tell you in an ad or a flashing pop up.

Oh, and most important of all, if it flashes, don't click it!

  • Trust your instincts

If a website or an email seems suspicious, don't take any risks, and ask about it or look it up, if someone has a bad experience from it, they'll probably talk about it. If you can't find anything, then just ignore it.

Better safe than sorry

  • Be prepared

Take other measures, have some good antivirus and antispyware software and be sure to keep it up to date, because evil is always evolving, and new viruses and spyware pop up faster than you can blink.

Now that you know some do's and don'ts, go on, and be safe!



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    29 Discussions


    3 years ago

    ery informative write up. I usually generate passwords using online
    password generators like Norton password generator and These
    tools help in creating safe secure passwords.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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)

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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

    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1 reply
    The Jamalam

    10 years ago on Step 3

    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.

    1 reply
    Keith-KidThe Jamalam

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 3

    Well, thats pretty obvious, and Im sorry to say, that whoever falls for that, is a fool. Simple as that.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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....


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, people think no one would guess that as a password. If you really like it, rate it please!