Passwords are vital in our everyday lives, we use them for virtually everything, and quite rightly so.
The problem is that passwords can be easily hacked especially if you fall foul of the common mistakes that people make.
You need your passwords to be secure, long enough and complex but this last point can create problems in itself – namely remembering them.
So in order to create a strong password that is not only secure but which can also be easily remembered, we must first be aware of the common mistakes that people make.
So what are they?
Common mistakes when creating a password
Avoid the usual suspects!
This may seem like an obvious one but you would be surprised at the number of people who still use their telephone number, their date of birth, “letmein” or even “1234”. You don’t need to be an experienced hacker to work out this information as in many cases in will be freely available. If it is obvious to you, it is obvious to a criminal.
Use different passwords
This is another common mistake. We use the same password for absolutely everything so if one password gets broken someone would have access to all your private information. Don’t leave yourself wide open and vulnerable – use a variety of passwords.
The old adage that “passwords are like underwear – change them often” is certainly true. We are not saying that it should be part of your morning ritual but it certainly needs to be done every once in a while to maintain your levels of security and is sadly something that most people don’t do.
Don’t write them down!
How many times have you written your passwords down so you don’t forget them? At the back of your diary you have you have carefully written down your secure password for the World to find along with a description “Facebook password – ‘ilovemarkzuckerburg’”. It is a common mistake but don’t fall into an obvious trap.
Tips on how to create a strong password
Ok, so have covered the 4 common errors that people make and this has no doubt got a few of you worried so here are some things that you should be doing to make your passwords as secure as possible.
Build your strength
Your password should be at least 8 characters long, preferably a lot more and combination of upper case and lower case letters, numbers and symbols and again be nothing that is too obvious. Something extremely obscure, even nonsensical is ideal.
Don’t be afraid to ask assistance
We are not talking about asking a friend but using a password generator. There are lots of these types of tools that are out there and these are excellent at coming up with something completely unique and totally random.
You can again you a tool to check how secure you password is. These are again easy to find and just type “how secure is my password” into Google and you will find a selection. What may seem like a great choice to you may be obvious to someone else as well so don’t be frightened to double check.
The deliberate mistake
You could deliberately spell words wrong. For instance you could use one of the letters that are located around what you actually mean. For instance you could use “Y” instead of an “H” or a “3” instead of an “E”. Don’t make it obvious as it could be an easy code to crack but a few mistakes here and there is a good thing!
Make it unique with a few tricks
This goes back to point of keeping thing unique. You can keep parts the same but alter the ending. For example your email password may be “xH&17xy9U>EMA”, your Twitter password could be “xH&17xy9U>TWI” and so on. It is a simple touch, makes it easier to remember but again keeps things unique.
Use a password manager
Remembering a string of passwords can be difficult as we said so using a password manager can be a great tool. You still need to remember one password but that is far easier than trying to remember a dozen or more!
If you follow these tips you won’t go far wrong but remember that nothing is ever perfect and passwords can be broken so check them frequently and never disclose them to anyone.