Can you remember the very first computer password you came up with? Are you still using it? Please say it isn’t jkl1234, qwerty, or something similar.  Nordpass recently published the most common (and worst) passwords of 2020. Unless you’ve put some ingenuity into your password(s), you might find yours on the list.

A report in Forbes says chances are you are password weak and it's time to improve your password hygiene. There was a time we might have been able to get away with having one password for everything. Those days are long gone. There is really no absolute foolproof method of protecting your data and accounts online. A good password manager though is pretty close.

If you’re going it alone, at least make sure your passwords are long. But even with a password manager, you need a strong master password to get into it. Maybe consider working on your poetry.  And the longer your passwords, the longer it takes computer programs designed to run a brute force attack on your data to come up with the right combination. Always. Always, use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

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Poetry or rhyming can help come up with something that is both effective, and memorable. Master passwords should be held in memory only to really make them secure. Using a derivative of a phase or a line or two from a favorite song, book, or poetry, can make it easier.  Try taking a word or two from a favorite song, book, or poem. Something you know by heart. Start with a letter, add in sequence starting with a number or symbol from one side of the keyboard or the other. Capitalize every other letter. Here’s an idea using a Beatles song as the starting point, let’s go with “Drive My Car”. Here’s how that password might look with the first two words of the song, “Asked a…”. Here is one possibility.  a!S@k#E$d%A^. That is a fairly strong 12 character password.

Gibson Research has a good password tester posted online. The one we just put together, even with no numbers, would take a massive hacking array scenario (geek talk for a good hacking program) an estimated 45.77 years to come up with that combination. Not bad. Using a more common online attack scenario the time frame goes up to 45.77 billion centuries. I’d feel good with that.

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