Strong Passwords Explained

Strong Passwords Are Your Best Defence to Protect Yourself Online

Once you’ve started using strong passwords hackers won’t be able to guess your passwords and you won’t be using the same password on multiple sites.

What is a Strong Password?

A strong password strategy means using a different password on every site. Good strong passwords are a random string of unintelligible characters, not a random bunch of words.  Here’s an example:  Y4A27Y$#@Hm$8gPn.  The longer, the better. A reasonable second choice could be an altered word with extra characters and changing capitalization like  %MounTain#pizza&%oraNge but computers can still guess theses given enough time and they’re too hard to remember.

How Can I Remember Such Ridiculous Passwords, you say!

Password managers are the answer!  They can generate strong passwords and store them securely and you only need to remember one password to get into the password manager. DON’T FORGET THIS PASSWORD!!! Write it down in a secure place away from prying eyes. You probably won’t be able to recover your password manager password from the vendor.

While there have been some security issues with this type of software, I believe it’s a reasonable compromise between managing your own passwords and having a different secure password for each site you visit. While some really detail oriented people do a good job of tracking complex passwords in a password protected spreadsheet, for most of us that’s just too much effort.

There are quite a few password managers out there, including the one built into most browsers. Browser based solutions are the least secure type. I recommend using using one listed in this PC Magazine article.

Next Steps After Starting to a Use Strong Password Strategy