Screens like this are a familiar sight. You enter your password as you are about to register yourself to a system and you were told to include at least a symbol and a number.
After trying that, you were told that your password was either too long or too short – that it has to be between 8 to 15 characters in length.
As if the 2nd attempt wasn’t enough, the system now rejects your password as symbols like “.” and “|” are not acceptable.
3rd time’s not a charm either, your 4th attempt returns you a notification saying your password was rejected yet again because it has to score at least 40 in strength rating.
You gave up and asked it to generate the password instead, and your machine generated password looked like “CL8nKj*v_!q2”
The above is an exaggeration but surely you would have come across at least a few of those above. So what makes a strong password?
Well, passwords need not be that difficult.
In fact, a simple password that is long is still better than a complex password that is short. In most case, we managed to figure out a super combo that gives us a ‘STRONG’ password rating but our brain isn’t strong enough to remember it and we ended up having to document it some where, which is actually worse!
Here’s how to get a good password.
While the above image is for your understanding on why a longer password is more secure than a short password with complex combination of alphabet, numbers and symbols; the above is not applicable in many systems as programmers tend to code the system as such based on the “we want complex combo” requirement.
In fact some sites are so annoying as the system checks the criterion one by one instead of checking it all at once. It’s like the exaggerated example at the opener of this article, each attempt on the password is like a discovery of what the system doesn’t approve.
I think your best bet is to start with something (eg a phrase) you can remember. If the system insists that you need to have a number in it, put the number some place in your password. Replace the o with a 0 (zero), or add a figure you can remember at the front or back. You can do the same with symbols too.
Good luck in remembering your passwords!