Ask Ms.Techie: Strong passwords

Dear Ms. Techie,
There’s so much fuss about internet security and creating strong passwords. But I can never remember the random strings of letters and numbers that lots of sites (and my company!) recommend. Can you help?
Always Forgetful

The most popular method for keeping all your site log-ins secure is to use a password manager. What password managers do is generate a different complex password (eg. S#y3IlV9$di49&6s) for each site where you need a log-in. The password is encrypted and stored in a database. All you need to remember is one master password that will access the database, and the password manager will fill in the log-in details for you the next time you visit the site. Simple, right? LastPass is one of the most popular (and secure) password managers out there.

Of course, this isn’t always possible. You can hardly use a password manager to log into a work computer, for example. What I like to do is use a passphrase. This is a password that’s a sentence. For example, “Leaders in Heels is #1!” is quite a good passphrase – there’s capital letters, small letters, symbols, and a number.

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You can make it even more secure by deliberately misspelling words: “Leeders in Heelz is #1!” If it’s not a common misspelling, alternate methods that crack passwords by trying different word combinations will also be stumped.

Think quotes, in-jokes you have with your friends, or simply something particularly memorable to you. Passphrases are usually longer than an average password, which means it would take much longer for a computer to crack. They’re also very easy to remember. I use passphrases for everything now!

Miss Techie

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Leanne Yong, a.k.a. the other Miss Techie, is the Tech Editor of Leaders in Heels and an aspiring author currently working in the field of IT consulting. She loves games, gadgets and technology in general.