Choosing good password

login-boxA password is a secret word or string of characters that is used for user authentication to prove identity, or for access approval to gain access to a resource (example: an access code is a type of password). The password should be kept secret from those not allowed access. The use of passwords is known to be ancient. Sentries would challenge those wishing to enter an area or approaching it to supply a password or watchword, and would only allow a person or group to pass if they knew the password. In modern times, user names and passwords are commonly used by people during a log in process that controls access to protected computer operating systems, mobile phones, cable TV decoders, automated teller machines (ATMs), etc. A typical computer user has passwords for many purposes: logging in to accounts, retrieving e-mail, accessing applications, databases, networks, web sites, and even reading the morning newspaper online.

A good password is one that’s hard to guess, yet easy to remember. So here are the top 10 ways to choose a password, in roughly increasing difficulty. If you don’t use any of the first 5, you’re well on your way. The stats are very rough estimates (for comparison purposes, an 8-character password is used for most calculation. Your password is what tells the computer that you are who you say you are. Until we can do retina scans like in James Bond movies, the password is the best that we can do. But, because your password is like a key to your account, you need to safeguard it. Anyone who has your password can get into your account, and your files. Anyone who can guess your password has it. Anyone who has your password can pose as you. Therefore, you may be held responsible for someone else’s actions, if they are able to get your password. You may not wish this to happen.

assword strength increases significantly when you change some of the password letters into non-alphabetic characters, and then include uppercase and lowercase letters within the password. This ‘character scrambling’ creatively uses the shift key, numbers, punctuation marks, the @ or % symbols, and even semi-colons and periods. These unusual characters and numbers make your password even less predictable to hackers using dictionary database attacks.

If you are having difficulty picking a good password, one good method is to use the first letter of each word in a phrase you can easily remember. For example, “Delhi is the national capital ” would be “ditnc”. Another method is to intentionally use misspelled words, or words with a number or punctuation mark suffixed. Examples include: braekfast, kite276, and weather. (the period at the end is part of the password). Also, many hackers use numbers or punctuation instead of letters to do a basic encrypt of text, as in: h3llo is hello or he!!o is also hello. Don’t copy any of these examples, but y0u g3t the d4ift! The more creative you are the better.