In my last post, I talked about what to do if your email gets hacked. This time I’ll address the reason your email got hacked – your password was probably too “weak”. By “weak”, I mean that it was easily guessed by the bad guys. So, I’m going to show you one technique to create a “strong” password that the bad guys will have great difficulty cracking.
A strong password has the following attributes:
- At least 8 characters long, consisting of
- UPPER case letters
- lower case letters
- symbols (!@#$% etc.)
You password also should NOT include
- A name or user name in any way shape or form
- Words in any language (using kuuipo as your password does not make you safe!)
So, how do you generate something that meets these criteria, but you can still remember? Let me start by showing you the finished product – a secure password:
Now, I’m sure that most of you are thinking that I’ve lost my mind if I think that anyone on planet earth can easily remember this. Keep reading… it’s easier than you think!
First, let’s start with phrase that you can remember:
i want to win one million dollars in las vegas
Now, take the first letter of each word in the phrase:
Add some capital letters. Here, I’m using ‘normal’ capitalization (‘I’, and ‘L’as ‘V’egas), but you can do this randomly
Add some numbers. In this phrase we have the words ‘to’ and ‘one’. While ‘to’ is not a number, replacing it with the number ‘2’ is convenient and easy to remember. You can also add some random numbers if you don’t have words like ‘to’ or ‘for’.
Lastly add some symbols (characters other than letters or numbers). Here I replaced the ‘d’ from ‘dollars’ with a dollar sign. Again, if you don’t have an easy substitution like this (e.g. ‘$’ for the letter ‘s’, and ‘&’ for the word ‘and’), then put them in randomly. Notice that I added an exclamation point at the end because I’d be really excited if I did win one million dollars!
And that’s it! Yeah, it will take a few days to get used to this, but it’s worth the effort to keep the bad guys from hijacking your email and/or emptying your bank accounts.
If this technique doesn’t work for you, then do an internet search for creating strong passwords. There are other ways to do this. There are also some software packages that will create and manage your passwords for you. Look around and find what works best for you.
Da Haole Boy