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Password Frustration

Let’s face it, passwords are frustrating! Coming up with a new combination of letters and numbers for almost every website, all while trying to remember them and make them secure! Many people have difficulty remembering the passwords they created for certain websites. Part of the reason the passwords are hard to remember is that every website seems to have different requirements for their password. Some passwords must be extremely secure and require a combination of different letters, numbers, symbols and special characters. Other passwords and sites have no requirements and allow the user to create as secure or unsecure password as they would like. You can see how this would create an issue with trying to keep all those passwords straight.

So, what is the best method for creating a secure password? One method experts recommend is to come up with a phrase and then use the letters and numbers in that phrase as the password. For Example, “I hope the Twins will win the World Series in 2019!” then take the initial of each word and all the numbers and symbols to create your password. That phrase would result in this password: IhtTwwtWSi2019! This password is secure because it contains upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. According to the password security checker included later in this article, this password would take a computer 10 million years to hack.

The next option is to use a password generation and storage software that you can install or may come with your computer. There are many options out there for secure password generators and storage so do some research to find which application and features are going to fit your needs best.

Now for the big question, how do remember all those passwords? Fortunately, our newer computer programs provide built in password storage and even password generation. The downside is if you are not always using your personal computer or if your computer itself doesn’t have a strong master password. If the master password is not strong your run the risk of the hacker gaining access to your computer and the stored passwords leaving your personal information extremely vulnerable. The key to using software or applications that store and generate usernames and passwords is to keep the master password very strong. I would recommend using a password like the one we created above.

The other option many people use is a little old-school, but simply writing down the usernames and passwords and storing them somewhere secure. Experts have said this is okay for home computer use as long as the password is stored in a secure location, but this is not recommended for business use. But you should not store the password in the same location as the computer and you should still be using secure password methods to secure those sites and information.

Think your passwords are pretty clever? You can check them using https://howsecureismypassword.net/, a site recommended by cyber insurance providers to determine the hackability of passwords. This site can be used as a tool to understand what is a secure password and one that could use a little more beefing up.   

Remember the first line of defense in keeping your data and computers secure is a strong password so check them, update them and make them secure and memorable. It’s a hassle but in the long run you will be happy your private information is protected with a strong, secure password.