How to Create a Hacker-Resistant Password

Laura Christianson of Blogging Bistro  continues her series of

fantastic tips for social media and website management.

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Did you know that identity thieves use password-hacking software to break into your site?

The Fall 2009 issue of USAA Magazine gives three good tips for creating hacker-resistant passwords:

1.  Lengthy.

At least eight characters.

2.  Multi-character

A combo of numbers, symbols, punctuation, uppercase and lowercase letters.

3.  Memorable.

Build your super-long password around a sentence. For example, “In Super Bowl 43, Pittsburgh defeated Arizona 27 to 23″ becomes ISB43,PdA27t23.

Daniel Scocco of DailyBlogTips suggests developing your own password algorithm (and he explains how to do it in his helpful article).

One of Daniel’s readers, Dean at ProCopyTips, suggested an algorithm I like:

Use the longest password you can… Length is more important than complexity because if someone is going to use brute force to break your password, they’re probably going to work through all available characters. A password that is 10 to 12 characters is very hard to break. Get it up to 20 characters, and it become nearly unbreakable.

All you really need is a “pass phrase” that is variable. For example, make up a sentence you can remember but which others can’t guess: My cat Smoochy has 9 lives and 4 legs. Take the first letter or numeral of each word: McSh9la4l. That gives you 9 characters.

Now add the name of the website: Key Word Suggestion Tool. This translates to KWST. Put your pass phrase together with the site name and you get McSh9la4lKWST. So your password is 13 characters and strong. Make it more complex or longer if you choose.

It’s also a good idea to create different passwords for the sites you use most, such as your Web site, blog, Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. That way, if hackers breach one of your sites, they can’t get in to all your others.

Let’s hear from you, readers. Are your passwords hacker-resistant? Please share the methods that work for you.

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Posted on October 23, 2009 on Blogging Bistro. Reposted by kind permission.

A relationship marketer for over 25 years, Laura Christianson owns Blogging Bistro, a company that helps people enhance their Internet presence through Websites, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.  She’s the author of three books and enjoys mentoring emerging writers and teaching at writers’ conferences. An active member of NCWA since 2004, Laura lives in Snohomish with her husband, their two teenage sons, and two gigantic tomato plants.

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