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Despite the many advances in technology over the years there still seems to be no foreseeable end to the humble password.

As the pace of technology has increased over the last few decades, so has the number of online services (and therefore passwords) which we consider essential for our everyday lives.

Each of these services requires a password and how do most people cope with remembering them all? that’s right, they use the same password for most services which leaves them open to having their digital lives taken from them should that password ever be breached.

So what’s the solution?

There are a few options here

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

More details on Multi Factor Authentication can be found here

MFA is a great option and can help to protect vital services but because this service is not universally available you should still create a strong and secure password (especially if you’re in the habit of using the same password over and over again)

Create a strong password

Ok great, we hear this every day so it must be simple right?
Well yes and no, human beings are inherently lazy and will always choose the path of least resistance in most circumstances which is why most of us are create such poor passwords.
But then have you ever thought about ways to create a good quality password? if not then this article may be of some help to you.

What makes a password strong?

A strong password should have a combination of two things – length and complexity

Consider the following password :-

qwertyuiop12345 – this password does have length at 15 characters but it isn’t complex as it uses characters which are sequential on the keyboard and could easily be guessed in a “brute force” attack by a hacker determined enough to gain access to your account.

Ok, so let’s go for something which contains both length and complexity :-

wH8h%&<Aq#’eLT]xu_Md

Perfect! and easily remembered right? well no, that’s where a password like this falls down, it is highly complex and would take a much longer time to crack then the first example but it is extremely difficult to remember.

So how do I create a strong (and memorable) password?

 

The above example is an excellent way of generating a strong password, using a number of random words greatly reduces the chances of the password being guessed by another human being or cracked by a computer.
Further complexity can be added by introducing capital letters and symbols, consider the above password with a symbol being used as a space between words and the second letter of each word written in capital letters.

cOrrect#hOrse#bAttery#sTaple

You may struggle to remember random words so consider a phrase which is meaningful to you, for instance :-

my favourite pub is the red lion

Could be translated into a password like this :-

mY@fAvourite@pUb@iS@tHe@rEd@lIon

Or you may wish to consider the lyrics from your favourite song

Somewhere over the rainbow Skies are blue

Which could be translate to :-

Somewhere!Over!The!Rainbow!Skies!Are!Blue

Whatever way you choose to generate your password remember the following rules

  1. Make it long – consider at least 15 characters.
  2. Make it memorable – but only to you! don’t choose something that another human being could easily guess.
  3. Introduce complexity – capitalise letters or replace letters with numbers and/or spaces with characters or numbers.

We hope that this article has been informative and has inspired you to update your passwords to make your digital life more secure.
If you need advice on cyber security then get in touch with the ISAAC team who will be happy to help you.