How To Choose A Good Password

Everyone has probably heard this, but a strong password is one of the best things you can do to improve the security of your accounts. We have all gotten emails from friends who have had their emails hacked. This was probably because they had weak passwords.  In this article, we will show you how to choose a good password that is easy to remember and difficult to crack.

There are a few important considerations to keep in mind when choosing a password.
1. The more complex, the better. This means upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and special characters (,.^&*#@)
2. The longer the better. It is exponentially more difficult to crack longer passwords.
3. Don’t base your passwords on real words. Password crackers start with with dictionary words before trying all permutations. Even replacing numbers for letters (like in “p4ssword”) are easy substitutions.

Everyone dreads keeping all of their passwords different and up to date. It doesn’t have to be that hard though. Here is an easy technique for creating a strong password that is easy to remember:

1. Think of a line from a a favorite song or movie quote. For this example, we’ll use The Beatles: “Little darling, it’s been a long, cold lonely winter.” (It’s stuck in your head now, isn’t it?)
2. Pick the first letter from each word: ldibalclw
3. Add in punctuation and capitals: Ld,ibal,clw.

Now you have a 12 character with good complexity that will take years to crack.

How fast can your password to be cracked?
Let’s do some comparisons. The following is a list of password complexities, and how long it would take to crack an 8 character password with several computers chained together. This is a reasonable setup for any hacker interested in breaking passwords.

Password Complexity Time to Crack
Just numbers 1 second
Letters (single case) 35 minutes
Letters (mixed case) 6 days
Letters (mixed case) + numbers 25 days
Letters (mixed case) + numbers + special characters 346 days

(Calculations from lockdown.co.uk.)