How to Create Strong Passwords

Passwords. They’re needed for virtually every online thing we do. I have a whole notebook dedicated to passwords.

I trust no one. Even Greg has to follow my password protocols. I keep my passwords in one very safe location. If he needs to get into one of my accounts he can go to my password book and look it up. Passwords never leave my book.

In the beginning passwords were easy. I’d use my dogs’ names–not their real names but the names I called them when I was mad at them. Eventually that gave way to pet names with dates or odd numbers.

When hackers got smart, those passwords evolved again to include punctuation and hidden codes. By this time I needed my book. I couldn’t remember them all.

Before we get into creating a strong password, please find a good place to store your passwords.

• Do NOT put your passwords on your computer, phone, or the Cloud. Trust no one. Not even family. I mean it. People get careless and that could cost you in the long run.

• Keep a hand-printed list in a secure location that you can easily access. In my case, my trusty notebook. Pages can not be torn out easily and if they are, I’d see the ragged edges.

• If you must type your passwords on a computer, print it then overwrite your document file before deleting it.

• Remember too that your printer hangs on to data in its memory. To delete it from the printer, power it off for at least 15 seconds. The information should be overwritten anyway when it does the next print job, but when it comes to passwords, don’t take chances.

Tips for Bulletproof Passwords

Nothing is perfect, but here are a few ways to flummox the hackers.

• Create a password phrase. Something easy to remember like: Iliveonthedarksideofthemoon.

• Increase security with punctuation. I-live@on#the&darkside%of*the+moon!

• Get bilingual. Whenever I’m brain dead, I switch languages. You don’t have to be fluent. All of us know words or phrases in at least one other language.  Arriverderci, Domo Arigato, tlhIngan maH! (That’s Klingon for ‘We are Klingons!).  You get the idea.

• Turn your password backward. Instead of Buckaroo, it could be Oorakcub

Your turn. What kind of tips do you use to make an unbreakable password?

 

Disclaimer: All passwords used in this post are strictly for purposes of demonstration. Don’t reuse these passwords unless you’re a Klingon. If you hack a Klingon, you probably won’t have long to live anyway.

In other news: I got stung by a scorpion over the weekend. You never get used to that pain. I hate them with every fiber of my being. They deserve nothing less than death!

And I hate to say this, but the scorpion was the least of my problems of late. If you follow me on Facebook, you know Tilly, the pig escaped. She nonchalantly walked up to me after we drove into the garage. Then Ray Charles, the goat, escaped. He was easy to corral too, but not so easy to fix his pen.

Tilly is once again working on digging a tunnel, so we need to fix that before she gets too far.

My brother and his daughter spent an extra long weekend with us. I had forgotten how active kids are, but she was also very helpful, loading the dishwasher, clearing the table, harvesting from the garden. I told her when she’s old enough to drive, I’ll give her a permanent job on the farm. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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All original content copyrighted by Maria Zannini 2017.

 

12 Comments

  1. Angela Brown

    Passwords are such a tricky business. You need them for so many things and you don’t want the same password for all your sites. This is some pretty helpful advice. Thank you.

    And anyone crazy enough to hack a Klingon has a death wish lol!

    I hope that scorpion had a shortened life after stinging you. Darn that insect!

    What is up with Tilly? Do you think she may be showing off for you, wanting you to see her escape artist skills?

    Glad your niece was a big help to you during her visit. Good idea to put all that youthful energy to good use.

    • Angela: The scorpion sting really ruined my day. I decided not to say anything to my family because I didn’t want them to freak out. I suffered in silence, dunking my thumb into a cup of ice. They never noticed a thing.

      re: Tilly
      Tilly is reaching her ‘teenage’ period and you know how that is regardless of the species. I have to admit we never had this much trouble with the pigs we’ve raised in the past.

  2. I often pick a phrase and then insert random numbers. I keep track of mine like you do. Growing up, we always had trouble with our pigs digging their way free. They’re smart animals. Sorry about the scorpion sting. Never had one and hope I don’t.

  3. I’m terrible about passwords. I’m not even going to say how I do them here because I know its not the best way to do them and you’ll frown on my system 🙂 Glad the visit with your brother and his daughter went well!

    betty

  4. Nasty old scorpion. Here’s another password trick. Use “lookalike” numbers in place of letters, i.e. 5 or $ for S, 0 for O, 3 for E, 1 for I, etc. “Th1$pa$$w0rd” is easy to remember but harder to hack. Just be careful when entering on a smartphone. Autocorrect will keep trying to “fix” it for you.

    Maybe you should have named Tilly “Houdini.”

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