3 ways to create a secure and strong password

“Make sure you have a strong password” is the advice we all constantly encounter online. Here’s how to create a strong password – and more importantly, how to remember it

A human being can never remember dozens of different passwords. Three in five Dutch people still always use the same passwords for different online services. That’s not a good idea. Because if your Netflix password gets involved in a data breach and you also use this password for online banking you are -in Dutch terms- “screwed.” Therefore, it is important to use a unique password for each website or app.

But how do you come up with (and remember) a strong password?


Way 1: Traditional password

According to traditional advice-which is still fine-a strong password has the following properties:

  • Minimum 12 characters:
    You must choose a password that is long enough. There is no minimum password length that everyone agrees on, but in general, you should go for passwords that are at least 12 to 14 characters long. A longer password is even better, but some Web sites limit the length of a password.
  • Different characters:
    Use a mix of different types of characters to make the password more difficult to crack. Fr#ynN%0)3Dd is stronger than Hgwhwbsskaya. With Veiliginternetten.nl ‘s password cracking test, you can see how long it takes to crack a particular password.

  • Stay away from obvious dictionary words and combinations of dictionary words.
    Each word by itself is weak. Any combination of a few words, especially if they are obvious, is also weak. For example, “house” is a terrible password. “Red House” is also very bad. R00dhu1$ is then slightly better, but still weaker than random characters.

You can also leave making up a password to a password manager. More on that later.

Way 2: Make up a waiting phrase

So it is quite easy to create a strong password. Just ram your fingers against your keyboard and with 3o(t&gSp&3hZ4#t9 as a result, you have a pretty strong password.

The only problem is remembering this password. Sometimes you just want a password you can remember. For example, if you are on vacation and have been swimming with your phone still in your swim trunks. You can no longer access your email. Then it is convenient if you can still log in at an Internet cafe with your easy-to-remember password.

But how do you come up with a strong password that you can easily remember? You don’t want to use a password that is obvious with dictionary words. Therefore, this tip:

It is easier to remember a sentence like “My first car was a Fiat Panda with an 800cc engine block.” You can turn that phrase into a password by using the first digits of each word, so your password would be MeaweFPme800ccm. This is a strong 15-digit password. Sure, a truly random password might use some more numbers and symbols and capital letters interchangeably, but it’s not bad at all.

And best of all, it’s memorable. You only need to remember these two simple sentences.

Way 3: Dice

You can also glue random words together. Six words, where the words are unrelated. In fact, that is very difficult for computers to crack. You choose the words themselves based on the numbers you roll with dice.

Each word in your passphrase is based on five digits. Therefore
for each word, you must roll a die five times. Then look in a list of words to see which word belongs to the outcome.

For example, if you throw 6, 2, 5, 4, and 5, your first word is “update. To get to six words, repeat this process five more times.

This is also considered a strong password (phrase).

Use a secure password manager

Password managers can automatically create very complicated passwords, such as 6#4c9Whb!w#L2nb, and then store them in a digital vault. Such passwords are virtually impossible to crack or guess.

In addition, a password manager can automatically enter your login information to websites. This also protects you from phishing attacks. This is because a password manager immediately sees the difference between ju0wbank.nl and jouwbank.nl If a website address is incorrect, such as j0uwbank.nl, a password manager will not enter your bank login information there.

We recommend Bitwarden or KeePassXC


Take advantage of 2fa

No matter how strong your password is, it can always be stolen, or become involved in a data breach. To mitigate the consequences, you can use two-step authentication, also known as two factor authentication (2fa).

Suppose a hacker has your password, that person should also have access to your 2fa code. More explanation of two factor authentication.

Check if your password has been leaked

The website Have I Been Pwned monitors hacked websites. You can check here if your email or password has been compromised in a hack or data breach. This site has a very good reputation.