By: Mark Rhodes-Ousley, Fremont Bank Chief Information Security Officer
A good password is one that is easy to remember but hard to steal. Here are some tricks you can use to make your passwords stronger. Pick the one that is easiest for you to work with or combine a couple of the tips.
1. Use the first one or two letters of each word in a phrase, song, or poem you can easily remember. Add a punctuation mark and a number.
For example: “Somewhere over the rainbow” can make a password like SoOvThRa36!
2. Use intentionally misspelled words with a number or punctuation mark in the middle.
For example: Sunny Outside could make a password like Sunnee#Outcide
3. Alternate between one consonant and one or two vowels, and include a number and a punctuation mark. This provides a pronounceable nonsense word that you can remember.
For example: Tehoranuwee7
4. Interlace two words or a word and a number (like a year) by alternating characters.
For example: The year 2012 and the word Stair becomes S2t0a1i2r
5. Choose two short words that aren’t necessarily related, and link them together with a punctuation mark or number.
For example: Better7Burger
Better yet, capitalize a different letter: betTer7burGer
Where possible, use long passwords. The longer and more complex a password is, the harder it is to for attackers to steal. You should change your passwords periodically for your own security, and make sure you use different passwords on different sites.
To help keep track of all those passwords consider using a password manager at home like Dashlane or Lastpass, which are free and provide secure password storage. They also fill in your username and password automatically so you don’t have to type them in.
Mark Rhodes-Ousley has 20+ years of experience with every aspect of security, from program management to technology. That experience includes risk management, security policies, security management, technology implementation and operations, physical security, disaster recovery, and business continuity planning. He holds two core beliefs: that business processes are just as important as technology because security relies on people; and that security should be a business enabler with a goal of enhancing the customer experience. Mark is CISSP, CISM, and MCSE certified.
Disclaimer of Endorsement
The views and opinions of authors expressed herein and reference to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply Fremont Bank’s sponsorship, endorsement, recommendation, or approval of the sites or software, the entities or organizations by Fremont Bank and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.