How to create a safe password

Because passwords are almost always the weakest link in any security system where they are used, the first step to better security is better password practice.

Things to avoid:

How do you create a password that is strong and yet easy to remember? This can be really tough. There are three generally approved methods:

1. Use a password storage locker

Don’t try to remember passwords. Instead, generate random passwords for all the different services and websites you use, and store them in a secure password locker. We suggest KeepassX: it is open source and multi-platform (it is available for Linux, Mac and windows).

2. Passwords

a. Start with multiple words you can easily remember.

b. Convert these words to non-words (for example, by taking the first letter of each word).

c. Add a few random uppercase letters, numbers, or symbols, and you are done.

For example:

You could turn “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” into “trwNbt” and then add a few random characters for “trwNbt!42”.

3. Passphrases

a. Pick a few random words you can easily remember, for instance autistici + crypto + resist + paranoia. Mixing in words from different languages and non-dictionary words is a good idea.

b. String these together into a long passphrase: “autisticicryptoresistparanoia”. This will be longer, but easier to type.

c. In order to further increase the complexity of the password you can add words which are not present in ant dictionary (like “autisticicryptoresistparanoia7grln”).

Here is another example: