What is a Strong Password?

According to Microsoft Online Safety and Wikipedia a strong password is one that is long and complex.

It is widely recommended that passwords contain UPPER and lower case letters, numbers and special characters and be around 14 characters in length.  While a password with that many components can seem daunting to create and remember, there are ways to make the task easier and more manageable.

Strong passwords should not include words that are found in the dictionary, repeating or well-known patterns, or phrases that can be linked back to an individual (like your child or pet’s name).  It is okay to have one set of repeating characters such as “gg” or “22” but I discourage using the same character more than twice in a row, and frequently doubling the characters.  Passwords involving simple substitution, like @ for the letter A, or 3 for the letter E, are nearly as easy to decipher as those without the substitution.

Examples of strong passwords:

  • ?gp6Hl4XXa6*b< (generated by a password generator)
  • 2Bor~@b,TiSt? (To be or not to be, that is the question)
  • ?lACpAs56IKMs” (created as an example on the Microsoft site noted above)
  • Tp4tci2s4U2g! (created as an example on the Wikipedia site noted above)

Examples of relatively weak passwords, although they may seem strong when looked at:

  • P@ssw0rD123
  • 1L0v3P0k3R
  • qWeRtY#$%abc789
  • hahaH33H33h)h)

Next time you create a password, think about its length and complexity.  In future blog posts, I will give you some tools to make the process of generating, maintaining and using strong passwords easier!


One Response to “What is a Strong Password?”

  1. Realistic Password Security « Jaime's Online Password Security Blog Says:

    […] Password Security While my post about strong passwords lists out the definition and shows some examples of what experts believe are the best types of […]

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