Create Ultra Secure PasswordsThursday, September 08, 2011
Following tips will help you in making easy to remember Ultra Secure Passwords:
1. Using Uppercase and Lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
Nowadays, most of the websites are encouraging the use of good password practices by forcing you to input a mix of numbers, letters, symbols, and mixed capitalization. This approach is definitely the right idea as mixing it up can pay off, statistically speaking. Why? Because most password hacks are done using a technique called "brute force attack", in which automated computer softwares are used to guess every possible combination to crack your personal code.
According to a study, automated hacking software can break into 1000 accounts in just 17 minutes. If you introduce more variables into your password — namely numbers, symbols, and a mix of lower and upper case letters — brute forcing software will take longer to crack your password and sometimes make it completely impossible to break in if the password is properly chosen.
This is what using Uppercase and Lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols does:
* Adding letters: Since there are 26 letters in the alphabet, one additional letter can make your password 26 times harder to crack.
* Using a mix of lower and uppercase letters: Mixing up your cases adds complexity and safety to your chosen password.
* Adding numbers: Using letters, words, and phrases for your passwords seems both natural and easy to remember, but it's much safer to diversify.
* Adding symbols: Symbols are the real secret ingredient to security. Since there are over 1500 symbols a hacking program needs to run through to correctly lock down one character of your password, adding one extra asterisk or exclamation point can make it 1500 times more difficult for intruders to pry open your personal accounts.
2. Password Strength depends on Password Length
Most websites prompt you to create a code with a minimum and maximum amount of characters. Since each additional character increases your odds of staying safe, be sure to max out the length of your password. If you can enter 14 characters, don't stop at 10 — those extra 4 characters will work to your statistical advantage.
Here's an example: compare the passwords g00se12 verses g00se12@!@!@!
As you can see g00se12 might be faster to type, but g00se12@!@!@! is a far more safer. How much safer? According to a handy online brute force simulator, hackers could crack g00se12 in less than a second. What about g00se12@!@!@! then? Assuming that the hacking software is guessing one hundred billion combinations a second, believe it or not, it could take the same software almost 200,000 centuries to crack it.
3. Increased Symbol Usage = Increased Password Strength
A simple technique to strengthen your password is to use a technique called "password padding." Conventionally, use of random passwords like Ub3`t3^#b|@ is perceived to be the best, but the reality is that people can't actually remember these totally random passwords, so they don't end up using or sticking with them.
To solve this dilemma, check out the following example:
Which of these is easier to remember? Which is more secure?
The more memorable password is Ub3r!)!)!)!)!)! since it looks like the familiar word "Uber" and ends with a repeating pattern of symbols. Ub3r!)!)!)!)!)! is also the more secure password because, while it too has numbers, letters (upper and lowercase), and symbols, the first example is one character longer than the random second password — and it has more symbols.
4. Storing your Passwords in Password Manager
Programs or apps, known as password wallets or password managers can lock down your cache of codes by encrypting them, which translates them into a secure language that hackers can't parse.
While no method is infallible, well-regarded password managers like 1Password are great options. With a password manager, you'll use a master password to access the program or app, and it will auto-fill password entry fields for you as you log in around the web. 1Password supports Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android, so you can keep both computer and your phone locked down safely.