Plaintext Passwords

What’s worse than forgetting your password?

I say it is resetting your password with a nice strong complex one using one of those Forgot Password” tools on the website and then receiving an email confirmation that contains your password in plaintext!

Here are my recommendations on how to avoid this problem:

  1. Don’t forget your passwords! (but if that’s going to happen, perhaps the other ideas below will suit you better)
  2. Use a password manager, so you always have your passwords available.  There are many different programs/apps/websites available to facilitate this.  I will delve into the different kinds in an upcoming post 🙂
  3. Read the rest of this entry »
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Anagram Your Passwords!

Remember those puzzles that require you to rearrange letters to make words and phrases?  They take a sequence of letters like alarepirctl and you manipulate them to become the word caterpillar.  Why not take that game, give yourself a few rules and create your passwords in the same way?

How to do it:

  1. Take an 8-character minimum word or phrase as your seed word
  2. Use a numeric replacement (such as those listed under common replacements) or add a number
  3. Use a special character replacement or add a special character
  4. Read the rest of this entry »

Password Tip #4 – Self-imposed limitations

I was going to make this a video blog, unfortunately I do not have any sponsors yet and cannot afford to buy the ad-on to allow for video!  If you or anyone else you know is interested in sponsoring this blog, please leave me a comment and I’ll start the process!

I had my 13-month old daughter on my lap the other day as I was trying to enter a password  and realized that I had to do the whole thing with my left hand!  I hold her in my right arm and am not able to reach the keyboard with my right hand otherwise, she presses keys on the keyboard!

Imposing limitations decreases the overall complexity of a password by reducing the available pool of characters used.  It is therefore highly recommended to add length to your password!  My rule of thumb is to increase password length by one character every 4 elements removed from the available pool.

How to create your password:

  1. Identify your limitation
  2. Read the rest of this entry »

Machine-generated passwords

There are many websites and programs that can generate a password of any length and complexity.  Here are some of the pros and cons for adopting these passwords for day-to-day use.

Pros

Using a Seed Word to Generate Category Passwords

 I highly recommend organizing your online accounts into categories.  (If you need a refresher, here’s my original post.)

For sites which fall into categories 8 – 11, it is okay for your passwords to be similar to one another.  However, they should each have at least 3 unique characters and be no shorter than 8 characters long.  It is only for websites in these categories that I would advocate using the method outlined below.

This method uses a number mapping schema.  Read the rest of this entry »

Converting two common words into a strong password

Sometimes making a word or phrase into your password does not seem to add strength to it.  Here is another approach, where the idea is to use some of the more common replacement techniques for strengthening passwords and a randomizing effect.  So, like my prior post on creating a strong password, I will begin with the rules and then follow it with several examples.

  1. Start with two dictionary or common terms, the total length should be between 9 and 12 characters
  2. Capitalize the second letter in the first word and the third letter in the second word
  3. Read the rest of this entry »

Convert a simple word into a strong password!

The password creation method from this post is outlined below.

  1. Start with a dictionary word or short phrase, between 8 and 16 characters in length.  This is your seed.
  2. Pick three of the letters in your seed.  Find a good reason for choosing those letters.
  3. Read the rest of this entry »