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WHAT :

Wiki: A password is a word or string of characters used for user authentication to prove identity or access approval to gain access to a resource (example: an access code is a type of password), which should be kept secret from those not allowed access.

Passwords have become vital parts of our life. In our daily life, a normal person would use passwords many times in a day. From withdrawing money from ATMs, to check emails or to unlock his phone: this is necessary.

This blog talks about how to create a password [secure password], how to store it and how you can make passwords works for you.

CREATING ONE:

Before going to the topic of creating a password, let’s see some of the common passwords used by people around globe. This list was released by Splash Data.

123456,      password      12345678       qwerty       abc123      123456789       111111       1234567      iloveyou       adobe123       123123

Admin   1234567890      letmein        photoshop        1234      monkey            shadow        sunshine      12345        password1        test

As you can see the above passwords are easy to guess and can be hacked very easily. Many people stick to the below points while creating a password, again which can be hacked very easily. Few pit falls which has to be avoided while creating a password are:

  • Easy to guess passwords such as a blank or “password”
  • Your name, spouse’s name, or partner’s name
  • Your pet’s name or your child’s name
  • Names of close friends or coworkers
  • Names of your favorite fantasy characters
  • Your boss’s name
  • Anybody’s name
  • The name of the operating system you’re using
  • String of numbers or letters, like 1234, abcd
  • The hostname of your computer
  • Your phone number or your license plate number
  • Any part of your social security number or Penn State ID
  • Anybody’s birth date
  • Other information easily obtained about you (e.g., address, town, alma mater)
  • Words such as wizard, guru, password, gandalf, and so on
  • A username in any form (as is, capitalized, doubled, etc.)
  • A word in the English dictionary or in a foreign dictionary
  • Place names or any proper nouns
  • Passwords of all the same letter
  • Simple patterns of letters on the keyboard, like asdfg
  • Any of the above spelled backwards
  • Any of the above followed or preceded by a single digit

Below steps helps you to create a secure and tough to hack passwords.


STEP 1: PASSPHRASE

Passphrase is a short sentence that’s easy for you to remember – that describes something about you and your life, for example – but that a hacker would have a very hard time knowing or guessing.

For example, the phrase could be something like “I met Supriya on 8th November 2009.”  Pick the first letter from every word in that phrase, making sure you include the upper and lower case, and keep all the numbers. [Supriya is my wife 🙂 ]

That would give you the following password: “ImSo8thNov2009” That’s a massive 14 characters and includes upper and lower case letters and numbers. Change the “I” to the symbol “!” and now you’ve made it even harder to crack.

STEP 2: SPECIAL CHARACTERS

List of special characters which can be used as part of passwords:

` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ – + = { } [ ] \ | : ; ” ‘ < > , . ? /

You can replace regular character with these special characters to make your passwords more secure.

Some examples:

I – 1 – !

A – a – @

E – 3

S – $

O – 0 – ()

to – 2

for – 4

STEP 3: LOCAL LANGUAGE

We can use of local languages like Kannada/ Hindi/ Tamil etc.. while creating a password, which makes it harder to guess/ break by the hacker.

We can use English alphabets to write Kannada words like:

N@@nuCh@nduoo7

Also we can make use of Unicode keyboard layout and enter password in Kannada Language itself. [I have tried it with FIORI/ HANA on windows. It works]

STEP 4: CHARACTER MAP

We can also use character map in password to make it more secure. Below steps guides us how to do it.

  • Open Character Map by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Character Map, and then, in the list of results, click Character Map.
  • Click the Font list, and then click the font you want to use.
  • Click the special character you want to insert into the document.
  • Click Select, and then click Copy.
  • Open your document and click the location in the document where you want the special character to appear.
  • Click the Edit menu, and then click Paste.

The only drawback with the character set is that we have to remember the character which we have used for the password.

STRENGTH:

There are many websites available to check the strength of the password which you have created. Higher the strength of password, it’s tougher to guess.

http://www.passwordmeter.com/    can be used to perform strength check of your password.

USES:

As we all know, that PASSWORDS are used to get access to a computer, interface or a system, it has different meanings also.

We despise them – yet we imbue them with our hopes and dreams, our dearest memories, our deepest meanings. They unlock much more than our accounts.

Passwords do more than protect data. They protect dreams, secrets, fears and even clues to troubled pasts, and for some, they serve as an everyday reminder of what matters most.

Few examples:

W@1k0ften : Walk often

Dr!nkW@t3r: Drink Water

G3t$l1mm3r : Ge slimmer 🙂

STORING:

There are many tools available on the internet to store your password securely. Some of them stores the passwords in the local database with secure encryption, there are other tools which does the same via cloud. You can access you password list through many devices.

There are two ways how a password manager works:

  1. 1) You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database. Then you can look/copy the required password.
  2. 2) You can automatically save your logins to the password manager, which it also helps you generate safe and secure passwords and automatically fill in your passwords when you visit a site.

List of few password manager tools:

1Password, Keepass, LastPass, RoboForm, PasswordDepot [Free in SAP’s Software corner].

SOME TIPS:

  • Do not use same passwords for multiple accounts.
  • Activate 2 factor authentications whenever it is available.
  • Share your password with family member. It will be useful in case of emergency.
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