Guide to Creating Strong Passwords

Need to create a new password for your device, account or app?  A seemingly simple task can be a bit overwhelming when passwords must meet several requirements such as length, containing both upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.  The following tips, which are in order by complexity, will help you meet those requirements while creating a strong password that may be easier to remember.

Tips to meet most minimum requirements:

Tip 1:   Use a passphrase.  Do not make it grammatically correct, a complete sentence, or something easily guessed.
dogsliveshouse

Tip 2:   Use capital letters.
dogsliveshouse turns into DogSliveShouse

Tip 3:   Use numbers for letters.
dogsliveshouse turns into dogsl1v3shous3

Tip 4:   Use symbols for letters.
dogsliveshouse turns into dogs!i^eshouse

Tips to create even stronger passwords:

Tip 5:   Use misspellings.
dogsliveshouse turns into dawgslivshowss

Tip 6:   Use multiple languages.
dogsliveshouse turns into chienslivesaras (French, English, Gaelic)

Tip 7:   Scramble the spelling.
dogsliveshouse turns into doglvieshuose

To improve your password strength even further consider combining tips.

For instance:

  • Use only the multiple language tip dogsliveshouse turns into chienslivesaras
  • Combining with the misspelling tip chienslivesarar turns into cheisnlvisearas
  • Adding the capital letters, numbers, and symbols tips, cheinslvisearas turns into Ch31Sn!^1S3araS

In an effort to ensure that your passwords are not repeated across your devises, accounts or apps consider using one of the tips to obscure the name of the device, account or app followed by the strong password.

For instance:

  • Using the symbols tip, your Skype account combined with the previously created strong password, a dedicated password could be S+=ch31SnL^1S3araS
  • Using the foreign language tip, your NY Times account combined with the previously created strong password, a dedicated password could be NYhorach31SnL^1S3araS

        Be Alert!  Be Aware!
Report suspicious activity to your local security official.