Create Strong Passwords - dummies

By Nancy C. Muir

Check out these five principles for creating strong passwords.

Principle How to Do It
Length Use at least ten characters.
Strength Mix it up with upper- and lowercase letters, characters, and
numbers.
Obscurity Use nothing that’s associated with you, your family, your
company, and so on.
Protection Don’t place paper reminders near your laptop.
Change The more sensitive the information, the more frequently you
should change your password.

Look at this table for examples of password patterns that are safe but also easy to remember. Keep in mind: Just use these examples for inspiration; don’t use any of them as your real password.

Logic Password
Use a familiar phrase typed with a variation of capitalization
and numbers instead of words (text message shorthand).
L8r_L8rNot2day = Later, later, not today
2BorNot2B_ThatIsThe? = To be or not to be, that is the
question.
Incorporate shortcut codes or acronyms. CSThnknAU2day = Can’t Stop Thinking About You today
2Hot2Hndle = Too hot to handle
Create a password from an easy-to-remember phrase that
describes what you’re doing, with key letters replaced by
numbers or symbols.
1mlook1ngatyahoo = I’m looking at Yahoo (Replace the Is
with 1s.)
MyWork@HomeNeverEnds
Spell a word backwards with at least one letter representing a
character or number.
$lidoffaD = Daffodils (The $ replaces the s.)
y1frettuB = Butterfly (The 1 replaces the l.)
QWERTY7654321 = This is the six letters from left to right in the
top row of your keyboard, plus the numbers from right to left
across the top going backwards.
Use patterns from your keyboard. Make your keyboard a palette
and make any shape you want.
Typing 1QAZSDRFBHU8 is really just making a W on your
keyboard.

It’s a good idea to password-protect your laptop. That way, if it’s left running in a public place, or lost or stolen, nobody else can log on to access the information on it.