Can you make a strong password memorable?
How many passwords do you think you have? According to NordPass the average person has 80 passwords. Some articles I read said the number is more like 100. That’s a lot.
Recycling Passwords, I Get It
So I don’t blame you if you want to use 123456 as your default password. I see the appeal in that. But if you use 123456 as your password then guess what? You’re the most common password out there. Which means you’ll be hacked almost instantly.
Here are some more common passwords and how long it takes to hack them:
"123456" can be hacked in less than a second.
"password" can be hacked in less than a second
"qwerty123" can be hacked in less than a second
"unknown" takes 17 hours.
"chatbooks" would take 1 day
And just so you know, hackers aren’t typing the passwords in one at a time, it’s a program that is attacking your account around the clock. So 17 hours and 1 day isn’t anything to a computer program.
Protect Your Passwords
So what can we do to help protect our passwords? First off, use unique passwords for every account.
Passwords are like keys.
You don’t want the key that opens your desk drawer at work to also open your car and home, right? If you lost that key you’d be exposed in a lot of places. So make a password for each account.
Creating a Strong Password
When creating a new password you need to keep in mind a few rules.
Use more than 9 characters
Use upper and lower case letters
At least one number
At least one special character
But following these rules will increase the time it takes a hacker to get into your accounts. And as we’ve learned, the longer it takes a criminal to break in, the better the chances they’ll give up the attack.
If you don’t think you can remember a password with all of these rules, then might I suggest a passphrase to help. For example, I’ll just make up something random here: TheSecureDadPodcastIs#1!
Here we have 22 characters, upper and lower case, plus two symbols and a number. And that’s easier to remember, right?
This password would take 28 Nonillion years to crack according to a site I found online. I have no concept of how long that is.
A nonillion is represented as 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
So slightly shorter than the director's cut of Dances with Wolves.
Of course, I don’t use this password, but making a sentence, or phrase, like this will help you remember your login credentials and outlast the hackers. So make one of your own. It’s not that hard.
To help, enable multi-factor authentication when you can. Most of us call this two-step authentication.
Meaning when you log into a site, you get a text message with a temporary passcode to make sure you are the person who is logging in. The Gmail app will actually give you a pop-up in the app that you can use to approve logging into a Google account. You can also use an app like Google Authenticator to help, too.
All of these steps will help you create strong passwords. And changing them a few times a year will also help. I know this isn’t easy, but the inconvenience of having unique passwords far outweighs having your bank account drained overnight.