How to make a strong password

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By Charlotte Parker 05 Jul 2018
strong password

Looking to keep your personal info safe?  To protect your data, and stop someone breaking into your accounts, our experts have some tips to help you create strong passwords.  

 

Password requirements

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Some websites have their own ‘specific requirements’ for when you create a password.  They might ask for some of the following:

  • That your password is a certain number of characters long (this can be letters or numbers)

  • That it doesn’t have your name or username in it

  • That your password is ‘significantly’ different from one you’ve used before (it doesn’t have the same or a similar word used in it)

  • That it has a certain number of uppercase or lowercase letters, some numbers or some symbols - or probably a mix of all four.

Websites ask you to do these things to try and be helpful - they want you to create a strong password too. That’s why, when you create a password, it’s a good idea to try and come up with one that does most of those things already.

 

Creating the perfect password

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Mixing lowercase and capital letters -  most websites want you to do this anyway, and using them in random places will make your password tough to guess.

Keep it long, but not too long - most websites ask for a password that’s longer than six characters, but super-long passwords (longer than 20) might not work on all websites. The more that are in it though, the harder it’ll be to crack.

Numbers nobody would guess -  it might seem like a good idea to use your birthday, anniversary or even phone number in a password, they’re easy to remember - they’re also easy to find out. Try to keep the numbers random for a really secure password.

Symbols and ‘special characters’ - these can be anything from # to %, and they really help to toughen up your password. The more the merrier (just make sure you can remember them).

 

Keeping your passwords safe

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Having a super-strong password is great - but it’s no use at all if you leave it on a sticky note on your keyboard. Leaving your passwords where other people can find them (like in the back of a diary) means you might end up having to change them more often, which is a pain.

  • Never write your passwords down

  • Don’t use the same password for everything (especially for things like online banking)

  • Don’t say or spell out your password in front of other people

  • A Google account can manage your passwords to stop you having to type them in every time (and risk somebody seeing over your shoulder)

  • Legitimate companies will never ask for your password in an email - don’t give it out

  • To be extra safe - don’t share accounts with other people. It can be hard to sort out if things go wrong

     

Now you know how to make a super-strong password, and to keep it safe. Hopefully, you feel more confident online, but if you need any extra help, contact an expert from Team Knowhow.

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