How strong are your passwords?

| Technology

How strong are your passwords?

Your password provides the first line of defence against unauthorised access to your computer. You may hear from time to time that certain accounts across the internet get hacked into from major corporations to celebrities but how can you make your passwords uncrackable?

Whether you are using a home computer or corporate network you need to use a strong password.

What makes a strong or weak password?

A strong password:

  • A password that is at least eight characters long.
  • Does not contain your real name, username or company name.
  • Not similar or related to a previous password you’ve used.
  • One that does not contain a complete word.
  •  A password that contains at least one character from the following categories:
    • Uppercase letters
    • Lowercase letters
    • Numbers
    • Symbols - (all keyboard characters not defined as letters or numerals)

Although you may have a password that meets the following criteria, it still could be considered weak, for example Password1!

It is considered weak as it contains a complete word. By adding a space or replacing the letters you could create a stronger password, for example Pa55 word1!

Remember your strong password by following these tips:

Use something that is easy for you to remember such as a family member’s birthday or one of your hobbies.

Then substitute numbers, symbols and misspellings for letters or words.

For example: A simple phrase like “I love playing football” can be substituted to “ILuvPlayingF00tball” 

Top tip: If you have to write down your password in order to remember it, make sure you don't label it as your password and keep it in a safe place.

What are the most common British passwords?

  1. yourfirstname1 (e.g. John1)
  2. arsenal or liverpool
  3. monkey
  4. password1
  5. facebook1
  6. letmein
  7. abc123
  8. qwerty
  9. charlie
  10. 123456

And whatever you do don’t use one of these!