Two essential password rules:
Following two rules are the minimum that you should follow when creating a password.
Rule 1 – Password Length: Stick with passwords that are at least 8 characters in length. The more character in the passwords is better, as the time taken to crack the password by an attacker will be longer. 10 characters or longer are better.
Rule 2 – Password Complexity: Your password should contain at least one character from each of the following groups.
- Lower case letter
- Upper case letter
- Special Characters
This is often called the “8 4 Rule” (Eight Four Rule):
- 8 = 8 characters minimum length
- 4 = 1 lower case + 1 upper case + 1 number + 1 special character.
Just following the “8 4 Rule” will ensure your passwords are much stronger than before for those of you who don’t follow any guidelines or rules when creating a passwords. If your banking and any financially sensitive website passwords doesn’t follow the “8 4 Rule”, I strongly suggest that you change those passwords as soon as possible to at least follow the “8 4 Rule”.
Guidelines for creating strong passwords:
- Follow “8 4 Rule
- Unique Characters. Should contain at least 5 unique characters. You already have 4 different character if you’ve followed “8 4 Rule”.
- Use a Passphrase. Use a ‘passphrase’ to easily remember the passwords. You can use initials of a song or a phrase that are very familiar to you e.g. “ At Technology Solutions, we love strong passwords!” can be converted to a strong password “@TS0l,wlsp!”
Another method of ensuring the use of strong passwords, and dealing having to remember lots of them, is to use a password manager. A password manager gives you the option of totally random and long passwords, and means you don’t have to remember them all. I will cover the pros, cons and best practice of the current best password manager, LastPass, in the next newsletter.