Editor's Blog

How to Make a Password No One Will Crack (and How to Remember It)

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Creating a password is an important task. Our passwords protect some of our most vital personal information. Finding a password that is strong and easy to remember, however, can be difficult, so let us try to help out a little. Here are a couple guidelines on what your password should have:

  • At least 12 characters. Longer is better, but 12 is fine.
  • A combination of numbers, symbols, upper-case letters and lower-case letters

There are a couple techniques that you can use to create a strong password that you can remember. One technique requires you to think of a phrase that is one or two sentences long. For example, “The first car I drove was a Ford Thunderbird. It cost me $2,000 in 1962.” Now, let’s take this memorable phrase and make a strong password from it: ‘TfcIdwaCT.Icm$2Ki62’. This would be a very strong password that you could remember through 2 memorable sentences.

Let’s try another that’s a bit shorter: “I met my wife Esther in Charleston. We were 22.” This phrase would translate to ‘ImmwEiC.Ww22.’ This would still be a good password, and one that you could remember through a fact about your life.

Another technique involves thinking of a number of unrelated words, called a PassPhrase. Most passwords with multiple words are not as good as they could be because the words are linked, and therefore obvious. For example, CatintheHat12, would be a bad password because although it includes multiple words, the words are often linked to each other, defeating the purpose of a longer password. Instead, we are going to use words that are completely unrelated. Here are a few examples of good PassPhrases:

  • TurtleTallRainPocket
  • DimeCityWallPen
  • IndexGatePoodleHat

The combinations are literally endless. The more the words do not relate or make sense in any way, the better your password will be. Try to make one yourself. Think of 4 words completely unrelated, and put them in an order that you can remember. If you can remember more than 4 words, great, you should use more. It will only make your password that much stronger. Remember to add numbers and symbols once you have settled on a PassPhrase.

If you’re having trouble with this, that’s ok, as humans we naturally link words together. Try this random passphrase generator until you create one you can remember: Generate cryptographically strong passphrases

Follow this guideline and you'll have passwords no one can crack!


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