If someone gets hold of your password they can do a lot of damage to you or your business. This can be taking control of email, website, bank accounts, you name it. The damage can be to your reputation if someone changes or takes down your website and the obvious one it can be financial.
Before we look at how to create a good password you need to know how hackers work. They don’t sit there trying to login by trying combinations of your username and password they either have a program or create one to do this for them so they just leave it running. Now there are many ways they can do this but one method is to use a dictionary database. In its simplest form what this does is try combinations of possible usernames and then go through the dictionary trying to find a match, it will more than likely try things like the top row or part of them on the keyboard like qwerty. It may be they already know your username or may take a logical guess that it might be something, say in the case of Clark Kent, ckent, kentc, c.kent etc. So you can see why real words or names are bad. It may also try dates, nicknames etc. So don’t use dates of birth, children or pet’s names etc. not without varying them. You’ll see what I mean
This is why you will see those scrambled letters and numbers you have to type in addition to your username and password. They are scrambled so that a computer can’t read them and then use it. This is known as a Captcha.
This is also why you are sometimes limited to how many attempts you have at entering a password before needing to reset it.
So now you know why names, dates, words, countries, cities etc are not good passwords.
Now I do appreciate that we all have many passwords and they can be difficult to remember them all but prioritise those that are particularly important. Access to bank accounts and emails are obvious but protecting cloud storage is import and access to your websites is also important.
Please, don’t write them down especially in full or where someone else might see them. There are apps for storing passwords and even in those I never enter them in full. I use a popular one with good reviews.
So if you need something really secure you could use a password generator, this will generate secure passwords that admittedly difficult to remember but hard to crack. Here is one site that can do this for you http://strongpasswordgenerator.com/
It is also useful to change passwords every so often.
So here are a few quick tips for creating a more secure password. Make sure it doesn’t match your username, use at least one capital letter and a number. I deliberately misspell words too. But make sure it is something you will remember. This is not my password but an example based on chocolate, Chokolatte01. This is so much better but really good wood be Ch0K0!@tte01. Change Os to zeroes etc
And never email a password, email is far from secure. Text it instead and never username and password together. If I have to I email username and text password.