An Adobe breach mentioned on Lifechaker has revealed a list of passwords that hackers can commonly break, which include the following: 123456, 123456789, password, admin, 12345678, qwerty, 1234567, 111111, photoshop, 123123, 1234567890, 000000, abc123, 1234, adobe1, macromedia, azerty, iloveyou, aaaaaa, 654321.
From these you can tell that there are things that you shouldn't use in creating passwords, such as dictionary words, codes less than six digits, pure numbers/letters, brand names, and numbers or computer keys in succession. That being said, how exactly can you create a strong password that you won’t ever forget? Here are a few tips that you may want to follow.
1. Combine "static" and "dynamic" codes.
Create passwords in two parts – static and dynamic. The static part is your “key”, which is the “theme” of your passwords across several accounts. For example, your key is “J6$*n”. You then add a dynamic part to your password that changes per account. You can do “J6$*n-em/4” for email, then use ““J6$*n-fb!5” for your Facebook account. Having a constant “key” can help you remember your passwords better.
2. Make sentences into passwords.
Probably one of the easiest things to do is to string words together and turn it into a password. It doesn’t have to make sense to anybody – just you. Also called “Bruce Schneier’s Method”, this requires you to combine words and then abbreviate them into a string that you’ll easily remember. For example, your sentence is “Yay, I ate an entire pizza!”. You can turn it into “Y!I8an3ntyrpi$$@!”
3. Try the “Person-Action-Object Method”
Think of a person. Say, John Lloyd Cruz. Then think of something weird that you imagine him doing, such as dancing the Macarena. Then think of a thing that he can be holding or using, such as maracas. So your sentence is “John Lloyd Cruz is dancing the Macarena with maracas.” Then you can try stringing the first three letters of every word, and you’ll end up with “JohLloCruIsDanTheMacWitMar”. You can then add a string of numbers or symbols at the end to make it stronger: “JohLloCruIsDanTheMacWitMar.1#4p”. If it’s too long, go with the first three or four words, then string with numbers and symbols.
The brain can remember mental images better, especially if they seem crazy or impossible, so the PAO method can help you generate a whole lot of funny stories and create passwords you can easily remember.
4. Get a reliable app
If all else fails and you think you really need to take down your passwords, try looking for an app that can keep them safe. Lastpass is a good option, as it also caters to digital security of businesses. Dashlane is another, and is considered by PC Mag as the top password manager for 2016. Whatever app you choose, make sure that even if you rely on it, you also know what you put in it. After all, the best storage facility is your brain.
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