Mira Podorský

30 May 2011

How to create a secure password (the not-boring way)

You've probably seen applications for generating passwords. For those who have not, this is how the process actually works:

  • application for generating passwords is downloaded
  • user runs the application and presses the "generate" button
  • a string appears that looks something like this: I8kjH9s&ER1()G
  • this string is used as a password for his Mail / Facebook / Twitter / …

And now, the user has two options:

  1. he'll forget his new password immediately
  2. to ensure that the new password is not forgotten, he'll write it down on a sticker and put it on the computer monitor. If the user has other computer-generated passwords, he will place this "my email" sticker on top of the existing stickers.

So what's the deal? Why am I telling you this? Because in a moment, we're going to learn how to create secure passwords - and you'll see that you are going to change passwords more often than you have previously. Because creating passwords can be fun.

Let's start!
So, first lession. Because we all love Rick Astley.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwnnSSs0kFA

Let's get his most known lyrics:
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you

…get the first letters of all words:
NggyuNglydNgraady

…and here we have a nice password! Right, it's a bit long...
This song was released in 1987, so:

Final result: Nggyu1987NglydNgraady

 

If you're a Pulp Fiction lover -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB-k5r1XjWI

Honey Bunny: I love you, Pumpkin.
Pumpkin: I love you, Honey Bunny.
Pumpkin: Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!

Final result: Ebc,tiar!

 

If you're a hip hop fan, you'd probably like a password created from Grandmaster Flash's The Message.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4o8TeqKhgY

Don't push me 'cuz I'm close to the edge
(I'm trying not to lose my head)

DpmcIctte

Year when released: 1982

Final result: 82DpmcIctte

But, don't ever, ever do this:
- use any part of your name, username, email or "what I like" in a password
- use sequences such as "abcd" or "123456" (this is most common password, according to some research, followed by "password")
- set "qwerty" as your password
- use common words (or anything that can be found in dictionary) like "monkey", "consumer", or "internet"
- give your password to anyone else
- send your password by email
- write and post it in a nearly public space - such as above your computer. Try to memorize the password, avoid writing it down

Maximum password security requires at least seven characters, a mix of upper and lower case, a few symbols, and a sense of humor. Whoever said security couldn't be fun?

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