Ways to Create a Secure Password

You must definitely have come across at least one person in your life who wants to know everything about everybody – who is dating who, who broke up with who, who got promoted, who is going to be sacked, and who is getting a divorce. Such people are all over the world, and sooner or later one comes across them and has to face them. Worse is the case when such people are your superiors! Though at times we wish our whole life could have a password, we know that is not possible. However what we can do is create an absolutely unique and secure password for things that CAN be protected with passwords – such as your office user accounts, special files on your computer, your mailing account, your Facebook account and scores of other things…

Creating a Secure Password

Be Original
Your password is something that has to be absolutely original. Try to come up with something new altogether. DO NOT pick ideas from your friends, or from novels, books or movies and do not choose any of the commonly used passwords. I once had a friend who, inspired by Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, used the Fibonacci number as a password for one of his mail accounts – I do not even want to attempt to explain the chaos and mayhem that followed! Your password has to be something that cannot be guessed easily, that cannot be deciphered even by the most clever people, or algorithm!

Be Creative
Never follow a set pattern or trend while creating different passwords for different accounts – otherwise someone who cracks one of the passwords (and thence the trend), will be able to crack them all! Always experiment with different types of passwords – one password could be only numbers, another could be only alphabets, another could be mixed characters, and you could even go totally random on one of the passwords! (Only make sure you don’t make it too random for you to remember it yourself!)

Be Discrete

Absolutely DO NOT share your password with anyone; not your best friend, not your companion, not your parents, NO ONE! DO NOT write down your passwords anywhere; and if you absolutely have to, NEVER write them down in the same diary/book or keep them all together in the same place! If someone comes to you for suggestions to create a new password, don’t give them your own idea/the idea you used to create your own password! They may be just bluffing, wanting to get you talking so they can pick up clues about what your password could be! Be discrete, and just keep them guessing!

Try to use words from different languages in your password; that way no one can really guess what the word could be! Also do not just stick to one word from one language – let your password be a mix of words or phrases from different languages. The more obscure/weird your password, the more secure it is! Again here, go for a language that is less ‘popular’ – DO NOT go for Spanish, French, German, Russian words. And DO NOT go for common phrases like ‘I Love You’, ‘Have A Good Day’, ‘Goodbye’ and the like.

Change is the Only Constant

Change is the only constant in life – so keep ’em changing! NEVER stick to a single password for a single account. Keep changing your password regularly, but do not follow a pattern of change either! For example, do not change all your passwords on a set date of the month, in a set pattern. Also when I say change, it means ‘change’ and NOT ‘exchange’! Never switch between passwords of different accounts.

Some Clever Password Examples
Here are some examples of passwords created with a central theme in mind, and then going on to make it complex till it becomes undecipherable to a third person!

Based on Favorite Movie

e.g.: Autumn In New York

This password was created based on the name and year of release of the movie Autumn In New York. The movie was released in 2000. So the password was created by choosing the first and last letter of each of the words in the name of the movie (autumn in new york); while the year was split so that the first two digits (20) preceded the password, and the last two digits (00) followed it. you could follow a similar pattern for any of your favorite movie.
Here, the pattern of the year of release was reversed (0002 is 2000 written backwards!); while special characters were used in place of some of the alphabets (‘a’ became ‘@’, ‘i’ became ‘!’)

Based on a Phrase

e.g.: dog in the manger

Each word of the phrase has been written backwards.

Following the same logic, special characters have been used to replace some of the alphabets.

Again the same logic has been used, but with a twist! The word ‘dog’ in the phrase has been replaced with the name of an actual person (you could put in your colleague’s name too, or your neighbor, or anyone who lives up to the phrase!); to add to this, the name of the person has been written using special characters. I leave the name to be deciphered by you…!

Remember three important ‘S’s while creating a password – Strong, Safe, and Smart! Never let your password be something personally associated with you, the name of your first crush, your first pet, the last company you worked for, your favorite vacation spot, your favorite color. Try to make your password as complex as you can – but not so complex that you can’t remember it yourself! Go cryptic!