What the F**k is my Password?

Previously in my blog I’ve spoken about how to manage your passwords better (with the iPad App OneSafe). It’s about time I get down to the nitty-gritty and tell you how to create a password. It’s actually pretty confusing at first. This will be a guide to help smooth things out.

Many websites require a password to log on whether it’s email, banking, Facebook, Twitter, A blog, or Deviant Art. The problem is not the amount of passwords (i.e. some people figure “well, it’ll just be easier if I use the same password for everything.”), but many websites have different password requirements. So I’ve decided I’m going to give a course on…


Passwords For Absolute Beginners (and Occasional Morons).

I’ll answer the following questions:
– Why do I need a password?
– What is a secure password?
– How an I keep my passwords safe?
– Is it wise to keep all my passwords the same?
– How I retrieve my lost password?
– Is there an easy way for me to remember all of my passwords?

How secure is a password?
That depends on the person creating it. The general rule of thumb is the following:
– Length: 8-16 characters
– No more than three consecutive letters and/or numbers.
– The letters should be a combination of upper and lowercase.
– A strong password should also contain special characters (e.g. $, &, @, £, etc)

How do I go about making one that I can remember?
I always say to different clients that if you make a jumbled up one, that is more secure. It’s harder to remember but there are ways of training your brain to remember a specific password. For example I put a nice complex password as the lock screen on my iPad, that way every time I pick it up and start using it, I’m forced to punch it in.

Many people decide that they are going to use something easy like a pet’s name, their physical address, or their initials combined with their date of birth. Do not do this for any reason. You will be extremely vulnerable and might end up getting hacked. An intelligent person could always look you up in the phone book, and scribble down you address. (The odds are some slug-like couch potato will be sucking your funds into a lucrative off-shore account.)

So here are some password suggestions. The following person is purely fictitious.

Name: Charlotte Smith
Address: 12 Hillside Road
Pet: Shadow

Bad Password Examples

Better Password Examples
Ch4rl0tte (the vowels have been replaced by numbers, except for the ‘e’)
shaDow211967 (this is the strongest password, due to the inclusion of more than two numbers.)

How can I tell if my password is strong enough?
Usually we want password(s) to make some kind of logical sense. The strongest one’s don’t really. If it takes you a few extra minutes to stop and think about it, a hacker’s time trying to crack it would exponentially increase.

Now the easy part…go and Google the words “password generator” (without quotes) you will find some excellent tools to help you. I have such an app on my iPad (thank’s to Wolfram). I’ve included a few Wolfram screenshots for those iPad junkies who feel the urge to get a new app.

Here are the results:

ASCII-based Passwords (i.e. letters, numbers, special curse words, the works)


You may have to be a little autistic to remember some of these. So allow me to wrestle with some settings and provide something easier on the eye. (On a side note…the reason these passwords are immensely strong, is some of them include two or more special characters such as +Ol30>{Z and {1h)FSE< ).

Alphanumeric Passwords (i.e. No Special Characters)


First thing you might shout out is…Why does having no special characters make it a stronger password? A password with an asterisk or ampersand is technically weaker, however, doing it the way I have above is even stronger than my hastily thrown together Ch4rl0tte.

Another reason why passwords without special characters are important, is simply because not all websites support it. For example, if you are part of a dating website, or a local forum, chances are the developers haven’t allowed for special characters in the passwords. I remember being a little cheesed off when a while ago I’d put together a secure password (with special characters), and then when I set up my Internet banking it rejected it. Grrr… I had to come up with a different password, which ended up being more secure for me, rather ironically.


If only a smattering of the above mentioned made sense, here is a little summary.

Things to Remember
Don’t take time creating your own password. Use an online password generator.
Keep you passwords different between accounts. You can always download a good program to store your passwords.
Type one of two complex ones regularly. Set it as you computer login password, or your iPad (or whichever tablet you prefer).

Feel free to leave a comment if anything didn’t make sense 😀