How Can I Make a Stronger Password?
A good password is easy to remember, but hard to guess.
What Makes a Good Password?
A longer password is harder to guess - make your password as long as possible to help keep your information safe.
Adding numbers, symbols and mixed-case letters makes it harder for would-be snoops or others to guess or crack your password.
- At least two Capital letters
- At least one lower-case letter
- At least one number
- At least two symbols (optional because we will add symbols as padding)
- Padding characters
Writing down your password is a common security risk but might be necessary (especially for infrequently-visited sites) - if you do write down passwords, do not leave them in plain sight! (A notebook in a locked drawer might be a good palce for these.)
Coming up with and then remembering such a password can be difficult - one good method is to start from a phrase you will remember (preferably one unique to you) and modify it to make it as secure as possible:
"Our wedding song was "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston."
The first letters of this phrase would be:
If you substitute a zero for the capital "O" and a numeral one for the capital "I" you get:
You thus already have numerals, special characters and upper and lower case letters - you can add padding (say an exclamation mark at each end) and arrive at an even tougher password to crack.
Great! Now you have a password that is easy to remember, but hard to guess.
It is acceptable to make a few different passwords and reuse them for different sites and devices. Just be sure that you don't reuse your most important passwords.
Here are some bad passwords you should NEVER use:
- numbers representing your birthday
- name of family, friend or pet
- anything that can be found in the dictionary