How to create a strong password

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Hackers and cybercriminals are becoming smarter, so protecting your information online is essential. Creating a strong, hard-to-guess password is the first step to keeping your computer, accounts, and devices secure.

An effective password will include uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as special characters. Ideally, a different password should be used for each account, particularly those that hold sensitive or confidential information.  

Short and common passwords are much easier to guess, which increases the chance of hackers breaking in. By using lengthy and random passwords, you can reduce your risk of data theft.  

So, how do you create a strong password? If you’re struggling to come up with a unique password, read on to see our top tips for creating a strong password that’s much more difficult to crack. 

Use a password generator

When you sign up on supported websites and applications, your iPhone can automatically fill in a complex password. The password will use a variety of characters, letters, and numbers, which can then be saved to your phone so you don’t forget it. This is a great way to quickly set up a safe and secure password that can’t easily be guessed.

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Some browsers, such as Google Chrome, also offer this suggested password functionality, which can then be saved for the next time you log in to that website. This is a convenient and safe way to generate a unique password and have it stored somewhere secure. 

Additionally, there are several websites that can be used to generate a random password. You could try out Last Pass, for example, which lets you choose the length of your password and whether you want it to be easy or difficult. The website will then create a randomised password for you using a variety of characters, numbers and letters.

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Use a combination of characters

A strong password combines numbers, letters and special characters. Less common characters are recommended to create a password that is difficult to guess. 

While using a complete word as part of your password may make it easier for you to remember, this also makes it easier to guess. A random combination of letters and characters that doesn’t spell a particular word makes a far stronger password.  

Consider using the start of a word, alongside the end of another word, to create a powerful combination of letters. Don’t forget to add a range of numbers and special characters in and amongst the letters. Typically, the more random your password is, the stronger it is. 

Make your password long

While you might want to opt for a short and simple password so it’s easier to remember, this makes it much easier for someone else to guess. Aim for at least 10-15 characters for your password, if not more. It will be much harder to guess a lengthy and complicated password, which will keep your accounts and devices more secure. 

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Avoid using personal information

Pet names and birthdays should be avoided when creating your next password. Personal details about most people can be easy to find online, and an experienced hacker will know exactly where to look.  

To create a safe and secure password, choose a word or sequence of numbers that is completely random and has no direct connection to you. This could still be a word that means something to you, but in an obscure way that nobody else would think of. 

Keep your new password safe

After creating a secure password, don’t write it down anywhere where it could easily be accessed or become compromised. It’s important to be wary of storing passwords on some browsers, devices, and phones. Although this is a convenient option and is mostly secure, there is still a chance that hackers could bypass encryptions and access your password information.  

And definitely don’t store passwords for accounts like your bank or insurance on browsers, devices, or phones, as these websites and apps hold a lot of your personal information. 

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The best and most secure way to keep your passwords safe is by storing them in a password manager. Apple offers iCloud Keychain, which is fully encrypted at an industry standard. It is recommended to set up two-factor authentication on your device too, so there are extra measures in place to keep your information safe.  

Samsung offers a similar password manager called Samsung Pass, which is built into the latest Galaxy smartphones. Alternatively, there are many password manager apps available for download.  

Here at PC Pitstop, we can help you with a range of IT support services. If you have any questions about keeping your accounts and devices safe and secure, contact us to see how we can help. 

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Written by Ben Waters

Ben WatersOver 25 years helping build small businesses that work. Investor/Adventurer. Electronic Engineer and tech enthusiast.

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