What is a strong password, and why is it important?

Many sites that you go to today want you to create an account, which usually includes a Username and a Password. Many have parameters set on what they will accept as a password. Your password is one of the ways, perhaps the primary way, that you protect sensitive information. You want it to be as strong as possible, within reason.

Many sites require that passwords have at least one lower case letter, one upper case letter, one number, and one special character.

And we’ve all heard what you shouldn’t do with your passwords…

  • don’t use the name of your kids or your dog or your mother’s middle name
  • don’t use easily remembered dates, like your birthday or your anniversary
  • don’t use common words that someone could guess
  • don’t use the word “password” as your password
  • don’t use a series of numbers like 1234

So, if passwords can’t be things we will easily remember, then how can we remember them??

That’s where you have to get creative. Here are a couple of suggestions to get you thinking…

  • substitute special characters or numbers for letters that make sense,  such as @/a or $/s or 0/o or 3/E or 1/l or ^^/M
  • use the numbers 2 and 4 to substitute for the words to and for in short phrases

And here are some sample passwords…

  • P3@ce2U
  • S0n$h1ne
  • 6r@ce4ALL

But perhaps my favorite strategy for creating a strong password is to use the first letter of each word in a Bible verse. For example, John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word” becomes ItbwtWJ1-1

See if you can figure these out…

  1. IatA&tOR22-13
  2. FGsltwJ3-16
  3. PotfaoGE6-12
  4. IhbcwCG2-20
  5. TLimSPs23-1
  6. ItbwtWJ1-1

Have a little fun with your passwords. I’d love to hear your comments.