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Entries in Security (1)


Passwords - Remembered but Hard to Guess

In todays world we have to have passwords for everything and as teachers some of these passwords protect our gradebooks and sensitive student information.  So the question is how do you make a password that is so hard for someone else to guess but really easy for you to remember.




First here is a few simple tips on what passwords should have in them:

  •  At least one uppercase letter and one lower case letter
  • At least one number
  • At least one symbol like @#%^&*
  • Be at least 8-12 characters long
  • Never use the same one twice

Now with all these rules you are probbly saying there is no way I will remember a password such as ""T0o1n2y3"" but if you look closely it is really not that hard of a password to remember.   Today's most popular passwords are 123456, password, or for teachers the name of the school.  

So back to the question how do you create a password that is so hard to guess but easy to rememeber?  If you look back at the password I created it is my name with numbers after each letter and quotes around it.  The trick is to not remember the password but to remember a rule and make the rule work so that every place you need to create a password can have a different one.

Here are a few simple examples to get you thinking the right way:

  •  Use the sites name broken up by your favorite number then use quotes around it - "T7o7n7y7s7"
  • If it is a secrect question never use the real answer use parts of the question and something else you will remember.

If you notice nothing here is hard to remember and it will make your passwords so hard to guess you will be more secure.

Steve Gibson founder of Gibson Research Corporation and host of Security Weekly on the TwiT network has a great site designed to help you see how secure your passwords are.  It is called a Password Haystack because it is like hiding your password(needle) in a huge haystack.

Create a password and then pop it in Steve Gibson's site and see how great your new rule will be in protecting yourself online.

ABC News Link

This is a great video where Steve Gibson talks about his password haystack and explains why complex passwords are not always more secure.