Meter Your Passwords

What’s your password? Is your password secure, or so obvious I could guess it in less than five minutes? How does one create a worthy password that is both secure and easy to remember? If you’re like most people you have passwords to your email, your bank, for logon to your networks and just about everything else. You’re probably thinking passwords are a pain in your neck and not worth the trouble to maintain.

“The role that passwords play in securing an organization’s network is often underestimated and overlooked. Passwords provide the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your organization,” according to Microsoft. On more personal note passwords provide security. A weak password is an invitation to steal your credit card, social security, and bank account information. Passwords protect you from unwanted intrusion into your private life. Don’t scoff. A weak password is having no password at all, or one that contains your name or your company name, is too short or is a word in the dictionary. The word “password” is terrible password.

You need a way to store passwords in your head, a way to come up with a password in an instant, and one that doesn’t repeat often. I see people struggling with this issue all the time and it doesn’t need to be. I’m going to give you a password plan.

Having a password plan is the easiest way to have a strong password, one that can have strong variations when the need arises, and one that you can remember. The fact is you need lots of passwords and a way to track them in your head.

The first rule of passwords it to use terms of the things you like. Then base your passwords upon it. For example, I like baseball. So, my passwords are based upon things that happen in a game. You could like cooking, or travel, hiking or whatever. The point being start your password thinking with things you like.

To create a strong password you need to use a mixture of characters and numbers with a mix of upper and lower case letters, some symbols like the dollar sign ($) and is NOT a dictionary word. Note: Some special symbols are frequently not allowed so you may want to experiment. Next, use a password with a length of seven or more characters. A password of “home” isn’t strong because its length is too short. A password of “homerun” would be better, but not strong.

Now let’s put together a strong password: Baseball plus mixed characters and numbers, plus length that’s a “H0meRuns” password. That’s a capital “H”, a zero, lower case “me” capital R and lower case “uns”. Let’s do another, let’s say you like cooking. Try this, “C00king4U”. That’s capital C, zero, zero, “king” the number 4 and capital U. This password is simple, strong and easy to remember.

Many times you need variations, start with your basic password then have a little fun with it like this: “3H0meRunz” or “H0m3Run$$”. Again these passwords are simple, strong, and easy to remember. Strong passwords and ease of mind, that’s a great Internet combo.