Anatomy Of A Password

Let’s take a vote. What’s the most popular password on the planet? Is it k9H3!R+? No, no, that’s not it. How about pancetta019? Nope: not it. The world’s most popular password, according to the U.K.’s Daily Globe and Mail is: 123456.

123456. Not much of a password, is it? Does it happen to be your password? Or is ‘password’ your password? Tsk, tsk.

It is a doubtless pain in the butt to remember a secure password and writing it down makes it all the less secure. There are some services that will remember a password for you, but the old saying goes something like this: “How can two people be sure that their secret is kept? If one of them is dead . . .”

So, it’s best to have a method of creating a secure password for yourself and to use it. First, some simple rules:

Avoid using passwords that can be found in the dictionary. Hackers can use dictionary lists as the basis for a hack.

The password should be not less than six characters.

Don’t use your name, birth date or any other personally-indentifiable bit of information in the password.

Always include a mix of alphanumeric (a through z), numeric (0 through 9) and special (#,$,!,@ and so forth) characters.

What would a password that follows these rules look like? For instance (and please don’t use this one):

Brahms91#

Easy to remember, hard to guess. Favourite composer, weight when you were 13 and your favourite special character. Easy to forget? Maybe specifically, but if you make up a formula to follow, your can have a different password for each login (recommended) and not actually have to remember the exact password, exactly.

Let’s say you like to make cupcakes and you don’t usually make them from scratch:

Crocker12!

Hmm. You use Betty Crocker cupcake mix, you make a dozen at a time and cupcakes are exciting! Same formula:

Baltimore50#

Hmm, again. Baltimore is the home of the King of Cupcakes, your favourite food channel cupcake-reality show, 50 is the number of pounds you hope you don’t gain from eating cupcakes and # is the pound sign. See? Easy.

So, there’s really no reason to not use a more secure form of password. I’ll be checking on you, -91ADclaudius^.^.