3 Tips for Working with Complex Passwords

December 11, 2015 | Views: 3641

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Introduction

When creating strong passwords, it’s often recommended to make them 8 – 10 characters long with lower case, upper case and numeric values and sometimes special characters. This is really good, but when it comes to remembering these letter-number combinations, it can be like solving a complicated mathematical equation and remembering the answer.

Sometimes, we try to play it smart and use a password generator. These tools create nice, strong passwords. When you click the generate button, you get something like: ‘9hhk8-y55%.af.’ These kind of passwords are impossible to remember.

So, here are my 3 tips for working with complex passwords.

 

1. Create Using Your Own Logic

When you need a strong password that’s be easy to remember, why not use a little logic? The logic can be meaningful for you, but useless to others. For example, let’s use my name ‘usman’  as a password. After applying my own system, I convert it to ‘U$m@N’. With this simple, logic-based technique, the new password is really strong. This method is fairly easy and workable.

 

2. Store Using A Password Manager 

Password managers are software that securely store login information through encryption. But, a problem may be locating software that can be trusted for storing sensitive information.

I found a tool called KeePass, available here. It’s a free, open source, lightweight and easy-to-use password manager for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Android mobile devices. KeePass puts all your passwords in a highly encrypted database and locks them with one master key or a key file. This makes it effective for storing sensitive information. Check it out!

There are many other password managers on the market as well. Read reviews, talk to trusted friends and make the best choice for your needs and budget.

 

3. Store Using an Tried and True Method

If you don’t want to use the methods above, just grab a piece of paper and write all your passwords on it. Then, hide the paper in a secure place.

Some of you might be questioning my sanity at this moment, but trust me: ‘Old Is Gold.’ If you hide the paper properly, no one can locate it. When you need to check a login for a specific site, refer to the paper.

 

Conclusion

There are several methods to creating and storing passwords; everyone has their own. I’ve shared my opinions and hope they’ve been helpful. For support, suggestions or questions, email me at ‘usmanaura47@gmail.com’

 

Written By Malik Usman Aura

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13 Comments
  1. Scary that anyone would follow or even re-use that article.

    Use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password. Read the instructions and watch any how to videos on how to use these before you use them. Set it up and let the password manager auto generate the password for you. Length is everything in brute force attacks, so think of a simple four word phrase with each word having at least four characters, leave in the spaces, add an uppercase character to start, a number and special character somewhere in there and you will have a password that will take a very long time to brute force – check out howsecureismypassword.net or other similar sites to see examples of how long it will take to crack a password based on the number of characters you enter – longer is always better. The password manager will also become your bookmarks and/or shortcuts to access your favorite sites and applications.

    Want to get really secure? Use two factor authentication like Google’s authentication or get a Ubikey make sure you understand it and then set it up and use it.

  2. Good article but there a few points that need mentioning. First using your ‘logic method’ while good in theory the example may not have been. Attackers can use combinator attacks that which is a type of hybrid password attack that combines brute-forcing and dictionary attacks that can crack simple ‘logic methods’ like the one you just mentioned. Eg Password and Pa$$Word are technically different but since these are very common methods of writing it a password cracker can run through a list of dictionary words and replace common alternative spellings to find out the right one.

    Another important point about password management is that if you want to use option 2- A password manager then its important to create a backup strategy for the passwords. Its easy to forget but if you want to use an offline password manager like KeePass, it becomes extremely important to add the password database to your existing backup strategy or risk losing everything.

  3. Thank you bro it is good ideas. Can i use it for security awareness newsletter in my organization.

  4. Good article…

  5. YH! this is really an informative article. i like that!

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