About Password Strength

Using strong passwords won’t protect you from something like the LinkedIn security breach, where the hacker got millions of user IDs and passwords no matter how strong they were!  But you also don’t want to make it easy for hackers to guess your password by collecting a little bit of information about you.

Many times, hacking is done through automated computer programs that we call “Bots”, short for Robots.  A bot may hit a website with your user ID and try a long list of common passwords, and then move on to a dictionary attack, or other word / letter combinations.  Therefore it is important to use good passwords that are not easy to crack.

Here are some suggestions:
  • Don’t use easy to guess passwords based on your birthday or the names & birthdays of your family members!  We unknowingly reveal too much information about ourselves online through things like Facebook or the many public records search services.
  • Adam Levin in the Fox News video gives an example of using numbers instead of letters for a good password.  This is easy to do and will help create a stronger password.
  • For Christians, a great way to come up with a strong password that you can remember is to use a memorized Bible verse.  Just use the first letter of each word plus the Scripture reference, for example the first part of John 3:16, “FGsltwJN316”.  For added strength you might insert a space or another special character, or more of the verse: “FGsltw JN 3:16”.
One of my passwords which needs to be especially strong is “Awktatwtfg Rom 8:28”.  Note that I leave the reference until the end of the password, so that if a human is trying to hack it, I don’t give away my method of a Bible reference at the start of the password.
  • Some online systems don’t allow special characters, but only letters and numbers.  Or they might have a limit of just 8 digits total.  But most systems today allow a very long password if that is what you want, and many have a minimum length requirement.
  • I should not need to say this but I will: Don’t write down your passwords and stick them on your PC monitor or inside the display of your laptop!  I’m currently sitting at my wife’s computer typing this and looking at the little sticky note she had under her keyboard with a password on it.  Naughty girl!  At home the only risk with that would be if a thief got physical access to our home, or if one of our children or their friends see the note.
But there is a better way to keep track of your passwords…