What tricks can I use to create strong,memorable passwords?
The easiest way to remember your passwords is to use the same one for everything, but that’s also a fast route to disaster. If a successful phishing attack captures your password – and studies have found that as many as 97% of people can’t tell a phishing email from a legitimate one – the attacker essentially has the keys to the kingdom.While it’s probably OK to use the same password for sites that don’t store personal information, you should use a different secure password for every situation where your identity or financial details could be compromised. When people are asked to change their passwords, they often comply by changing a single character, such as ‘12’ to a ‘13’. Password-guessing programs are wise to this and can sniff it out. A variation of this practice is to tack a ‘!’ to the end of your current password when asked to include a non-alphanumeric character. That’s the oldest dodge in the book and password crackers are aware of it. Non-alphanumeric characters should appear within the password, not at either end. Avoid using the names of relatives, celebrities, football teams, pets or any other common terms in your passwords. Password- cracking software looks for the most common combinations, such as Yoda123. Adding a string of characters to a common name is not protection enough either. Password crackers know this trick and cycle through combinations of common names and numbers until they hit the right one. The only safe password is one that’s made up of a random – or seemingly random – set of characters.