InfoSec Blog - Creating a Strong Password

Strong Password

December 18, 2017

Imagine that today is the day that you finally get to purchase that new gaming system you have been saving up for. You run down to Walmart and luckily snag the very last on available. Eager to play the games, you run home, open the box and hook the new system up to your television and the internet. While you're setting it up, you are prompted to sign-in with your online account. Unfortunately, you do not have one. So, you start going through the new account process. You spend a great deal of time thinking of a super cool username and then, of course, you'll need a super cool password. After learning about the dangers of creating a weak password/using the same password over again, you have a tough time thinking of one that you might remember. 

 

So, what do you do........?

Before we show you how to create a strong password, you should know why you should to create a strong password. 

The use of a strong password can protect you from hackers. Malicious attackers can attempt to steal your password through many ways including:

  • Wi-Fi Traffic Monitoring Attacks - This is when you connect to unsecure and malicious public Wi-Fi hotspot, an attacker could watch all traffic and activity that is occurring on that network. Unsecure public Wi-Fi is usually found in places offering free Wi-Fi, such as coffee shops and hotels.
  • Phishing Attacks - A phishing attack is one in which the attacker, masquerading as a trusted person, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message, containing something harmful or a request for account credentials. 
  • Brute Force Attacks - In this attack, hackers use a tool that can crack your password by simply entering different passwords over and over again until the password is found. Weak passwords can be obtained within minutes with this method. 

 

How do I remember my strong password?

The problem with having a strong password is that they can be hard to remember. Here are some tips to create a strong password that is easy to remember.
  • Create a password that is short enough to say in 2 seconds. 
  • Chunk It - chunking it is a popular and effective memory technique in which smaller pieces or information is divided into larger memorable groups. Examples of meaningful chunks would be :
    • 3TulipsBloomed!
    • Wash10!Windows
    • 8burgersM8s!
  • Make it MEANINGFUL- People tend to be better at remembering things that are significant to them as they can connect the information to related material that is already stored in their long-term memory 
  • Take a short phrase that is memorable to you, mix in some numbers and special characters
 
Once you have created a password a good technique to help remembering them is repetition. The more you practice an item, the better we can remember it. Mentally repeat the password to yourself 3 times. Hopefully using this technique, you will be able to create a strong password that is easier to remember and keeping you safe from any future hacks. 

 

Written By: Apurv Agarwal (Information Security Student)
Image Source: Freepik