How often have you been asked for a password? Most people are prompt at least once a day. If you use a computer, you are probably aware that passwords, like passcodes, keep your data slightly safer. It is like an ATM code. Most people keep their passwords simple to remember and as a side effect, easy to hack.
I have had bad passwords in the past too, but I have corrected them overtime. There are still a few bad password habits I still have, but there are many less problems than before.
I am going to try and guess your password.
Anything not in square brackets, [these are square brackets] should be taken literally, but the case (i.e. capital) might be different.
- [4 spaces]
- [No Password]
- [A name]
- [A name with a number before or after the word]
- [Something (a word, phrase, etc.) with a #1 after it]
- [The year]
- [Part of a name (pet, person, etc.)]
- [A date]
- [A word]
- [Social Security Number]
- [A number pattern]
If your password falls into any of these categories, there is help for you.
Good Passwords May Have:
- 8 or more characters
- Symbols, letters, numbers
- Different cases (upper and lower)
- No Repeating Pattern
If you want a good password, it is a random string like “(7!290IUHfwqe8” right? WRONG!!
You can make a good password by taking common strings and making them more difficult. Here is a real example.
- Replace some characters –> lisa23 to l!sa23
- Change cases, but not the first character because that is obvious –> l!sa23 to l!sA23
- Replace numbers that look like letters –> l!sA23 to l!sA2e (E is like a backwards 3 and to make it more of a challenge, make the “E” lowercase)
That is a pretty strong password, but it would be stronger if it was 8+ characters.
Some tips for password safety.
- Don’t type passwords if you think you have a virus or a keylogger (stores information you type)
- Use the same password for many places (better if there are no same passwords, but 2 is okay)
- Generate random passwords and use a mnemonic device to memorize them (a rhyme, song, etc.)
If you need a good password generator go to:
If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask.
Email help@ZPUSystems.com if you have any questions, comments, and/or concerns.
Credits: I was inspired by the One Man’s Blog post titled How I’d Hack Your Weak Passwords. I recommend you read it. It was very well written and I thought I would expand on it and write my own security post for ZPU Systems™ and help the readers secure their passwords.