Are you the person who has the same password for everything? Could your best friend guess it? How about your boss? I would prefer to think that no one but my partner could possibly guess the user name and passwords I have come up with. And the fact that I rotate them with every new membership causes even confuses me.
There has to be a better way to remember your user name and password and still maintain security. I will start this adventure with 2 of each.
- Password: MrFraiser
- Password: Checkmate
I am a fragmented person on the web. I believe in this slice of postmodernism. But I don’t want to be so fragmented that I come off as insincere. So, for this exercise my goal is to maintain the above two identities and a new third one. I dare say that I could split myself in two (or three) if, for instance, I wanted to be perceived as goofy in one community and a mentor in the other. So, we know that it is harder to change our user name than it is to change our password. I have encountered a few sites that allow you to change your user name but then that’s like moving – ie. you have to send out announcements and notices. So, my first step at password security is having separate ones for each of my identities. On a side note, I also have completely different passwords on bank accounts and the handful of other high security areas.
I wanted to know how well my current password strength is. Using the following tools, I surmised that my first password strength was weak and so was my second one.
- Microsoft Password Checker
- Wikipedia Password Strength article
- One Mans Blog
- Passwords – A User Guide
I want to keep in the spirit of my current credentials. So let’s explore how I can make them more secure.
Now, not many people could guess my elementary school music teacher’s name but if you dug around a bit you would know that I am a musician and love music. You would also note that MrFraiser is a common phrase, much like MrSmith or MrsRobinson. So to make it stronger let’s change some words to numbers and increase the length.
Now that gets me a strong on the password checker. Even still, there are password hacks who’s first instinct is to check for letter replacements. So to make the password even stronger let’s employ the create a sentence rule.
Great! We still have a strong password here. I’ve created it from the sentence “Mr. Fraiser is my elementary school music teacher” or “M(r.) f(raiser) !(s) m(y) 3(lementary) $(chool) m(usic) T(eacher)” and include both upper case and lower case letters. It is also pretty fool proof from the entry-level hacker. Not the strongest but we’re almost there.
Now I’m looking for the strongest password I can come up with for both security and ease of remembering. What I have done is kept my original sentence and added the site for which the password is applied. So for Youtube it would be Mf!m3$mTYouTube. This get’s me at best on the Microsoft password checker site.
My other password is Checkmate.
In three simple steps let’s take this from weak to best.
2. YK!0Cm83T- Y(our) K(ing) !(oses) 0(n) C(heck) m8 3(very) T(ime)
So here’s what others are saying about passwords:
Information on the new WordPress password strength indicator.
Forgot your windows password? How to get in without using any software.
Or you could try the Ctrl+Alt+Delete twice method
Password computer basics – The music reminds me of all the training videos I have ever had to watch in my life.
Security Wise Vlog on password strength.