How To Choose A Password

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When it comes to choosing your passwords for the dozens of accounts you have, you probably wind up reusing the same password, or a variation of the same password, for multiple accounts. Now, that’s not the best practice for your online safety, because if someone figures out one of your passwords, they’ll be able to access a ton of your personal information across different websites and apps. But what are you supposed to do, make a completely unique, long and complicated password for every account? The answer is yes, but I have a way to make it easy as pie. Let’s get started!

How Not To Choose A Password

Choosing Secure Passwords

When it comes to choosing a password, it’s helpful to first learn what not to include:

  • Repeated numbers
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Birthday
  • Same or similar password as other accounts
  • The word “password”

Basically, any number or words that are easily identifiable to you should not be part of your password, no matter how easy it is to remember your address or birthday. Basically, you should create a password for each account that’s unique, long and complicated. Passwords should be combinations of letters, numbers and special characters, seemingly at random. But how do you remember so many passwords, and how can you generate them in the first place?

Using Password Managers

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That’s where password managers come in. They store all of your usernames and passwords in an encrypted vault, so you only have to remember one master password for all of your accounts. They also offer two-factor authentication, which requires you to type in a passcode sent to a mobile device, and sometimes even multi-factor authentication, which requires biometrics like fingerprint or facial recognition. Plus, password managers will scan all of your existing passwords and will point out which ones are weak, old or repeated. Then, the password manager will generate strong passwords for you, so you don’t have to worry about it! Your passwords will be synced across all of your devices so you never have to click on “forgot password again”.

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Sync passwords across all devices

However, if using a password manager seems like too much work (although it is by far the most convenient way to create and remember passwords in the long run), let’s talk about ways to create strong passwords by yourself.

Related: The Best Password Managers of 2019

Tips For Choosing A Password

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Password Generator

Okay, I’ve already told you how NOT to create a secure password and how to create a secure password with a machine, but here’s some tips for doing it on your own:

  • Use a combination of special characters, letters in uppercase and lowercase, and numbers.
  • Make sure your password is at least eight characters long— when it comes to passwords, the general rule is, the longer the better.
  • Remember your passwords by using abbreviations. For example, a common phrase like “happy birthday to you” could be abbreviated as HBTY.
  • Use a combination of two words that have nothing to do with each other but may easily stick in your mind, like “hatsocket” or “bottletape”. Of course, be sure to throw in some numbers and special characters, as well!
  • Replace a letter with a number, like writing “R0cket” instead of “Rocket”.
  • Purposefully misspell a word in a way you’ll remember, like writing “Misissippi” instead of “Mississippi”.
  • Close your eyes and type randomly and you’re sure to come up with something super random, long, complicated and unique! However, it may be harder to remember.

Recap

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the best way to create strong passwords and protect your accounts. Even though it may sound so simple, most people don’t have the strongest of passwords, so you’ll already be ahead of the curb just by implementing these easy tips. Leave any comments or questions below and I’ll be happy to respond as soon as possible!

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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