Creating a Secure Digital Password
All right, fess up … do you have any online accounts that have duplicate passwords? If you are like 95% of all Americans, you do. We’ve been looking to shore up our online protection here at All American Self Storage in San Mateo, CA, and we found out that we’re really bad at coming up with new passwords, so we add a few characters to the end of an existing password and call it good. This is unwise for multiple reasons and puts our digital accounts at great risk.
Password requirement overload
We all have seen the warnings and I would bet that we can all recite the basic rules of the minimum that passwords should have, right? Passwords should have at least 8 characters, special characters, numbers, include capital and lowercase letters, unique to a single account, and not contained in a dictionary. No sweat, right?
In 2018, Digital Guardian reported that the average user has approximately 90 online accounts for which they need to create unique and secure passwords. We should all periodically audit our logins and delete accounts that we no longer use.
There are several apps that you can download that store all of your passwords and then require you to have a strong master password. For many, this is a great option. When you create the master password, you can go with a random password generator, such as the one at https://passwordsgenerator.net or https://www.random.org/passwords or follow a few tips for the pros on creating a secure yet easy to remember password.
Sing it … type it
Use your favorite quote, line from a song, etc. and turn it into a password. As an example, we’ll take a line from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
“Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me, to me”
You’re humming it now, aren’t you?
- Let’s use the first letter from each word as a start: Atwbdrmtmtm
- Now, alternate capital and lowercase letters: AtWbDrMtMtM
- We have a repeated tMtM, so let’s substitute a digit. T and 7 slightly resemble each other, so we get: AtWbDrM7MtM
- To get another digit, let’s add 3 to “spell” me: AtWbDrM7M3tM3
- Finally, add a few special characters at the pause point in the lyric and an explanation point because it’s just awesome: AtWbDrM7M3-tM3!
If you like the idea, the classic song is long enough for you to come up with another. As a bonus, if your cubicle neighbor is humming songs as they do their passwords, you might be able to hack them!
It can take a bit of time to correct all of your passwords; it took me the better part of a day. Knowing that your passwords are more secure feels great.
If you have any other suggestions on password security, please let us know by stopping by All American Storage in San Mateo.