What makes a good password

What makes a good password

What makes a good password 150 150 Tony Davidson

In my previous blogs I’ve mentioned “secure passwords” several times. But what actually makes a good password, and how can I test it?

You need a good password in instances where you can’t use a password manager (such as Lastpass). Obviously you can’t type in a 43 character monstrosity every time.  A good password has three qualities:

  1. Difficult to crack
  2. Easy(ish) to remember
  3. Easy(ish) to type

Number 1 is obviously crucial, but if 2 isn’t met you will end up writing it down. And some passwords are so hard to type (3) that you just hate them after a while.

Dos and don’ts for passwords

  • Do not use a pattern. If it’s easy for you, hackers will think of it. E.g.
    • qwerty123456
    • qazwsx12
  • Do not make substitutions such as 0 for o and 3 for e. It just makes it harder to type (and remember) and won’t slow a computer down. And for good passwords they are just painful to remember. Don’t bother with them. Use a longer password instead.
  • Never use simple phrases such as “iloveyou” as cracking software will only take seconds
  • Never use dates or names relating to you or your family
  • Do use long passwords. The longer the better. Ideally 20 or more characters.
  • Do use long phrases that mean something to you (and not others), including spaces. The password “I love my Friday football with a beer” is a much more secure password than “&v3*JLCFf&Gt^499”. And by an incredible factor of 1040. And which would you rather remember!

A good site to test your password on is:  https://www.experte.com/password-check

CyberX are always happy to give you advice on all security matters, including but not limited to the choice of good passwords and implementation of password managers. Contact us for more information.

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