The Mel Brooks Guide to Super Strong Passwords

How strong are your passwords? I attended a course in London last year and one of the topics covered security. In Mel Brook’s movie SpaceBalls, the password to all the earth’s natural resources was…12345. It’s a comedy but you get the idea. All those efforts to control the planet and the password is child’s play. Here are some ways to strengthen your passwords and also how to show others the mistakes to avoid.

9 Ways To Create Supe Strong Passwords

This week we look at how to setup a strong password and test its strength. I’ll also look at the type of mistakes people make when creating passwords and how to avoid these.

  1. Passwords should be 8 or more characters in length; 14 characters or more is ideal.
  2. Strongest passwords combine both length and different types of symbols.
  3. Long passwords are stronger than short ones.
  4. The more characters you add to your password, the more you increase its level of protection.
  5. Use symbols by holding down the ‘Shift’ key and typing a number are very useful in developing strong passwords.
  6. Choose symbols unique to your language.
  7. Use the space bar in passwords.
  8. Combine letters, numbers, and symbols.
  9. The greater the combination you use in your password, the harder it is to guess.

10 WAys to avoid weak, easy-to-guess passwords

Here are some of the mistakes to avoid when creating passwords:

  1. Avoid using look-alike substitutions of numbers and symbols. This means that you don’t replace an ‘i’ with a ‘1′ or an ‘a’ with ‘@’ as in “M1cr0$0ft” or “P@ssw0rd. These are too easy to guess.Paypal, Security, Password, Ebay, eJunkie, Clickbank, Adsense, 
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  2. However, these substitutions can be effective when combined with other measures, such as length, misspellings, or variations in upper and lowercase, to improve the strength of your password.
  3. Avoid sequences of word or repeated characters. Examples of these are “12345678,” “778899″ “abcdefg,”
  4. Letters on your keyboard that sit next to each other are also a mistake. For example, qwertqwert.  These are very weak passwords.
  5. Avoid your login name.
  6. Avoid words from the dictionary.
  7. Don’t use any part of your name, birthday, social security number.
  8. Tools can guess passwords based on words in multiple dictionaries, including words spelled backwards, common misspellings, and substitutions.
  9. Use password combinations. If any one of the computers or websites using your password is compromised, then all of your other information protected by that password will be compromised as well. Use different passwords for different systems.
  10. Don’t store your password online.

I know this sounds obvious but, if others find your passwords stored online (or on a networked computer), they have access to all your information.

Remember to change your passwords on a regular basic, for example, every six weeks. If you’re planning on opening a PayPal or Ebay account to buy and sell goods online, then I think you should read this. There’s no point making all this money, if someone can walk in a run off with your profits.

What do you think? How do you create strong passwords?

10 thoughts on “The Mel Brooks Guide to Super Strong Passwords”

  1. Wow…I’ve never seen any of these issues, but I’ve never upgraded from v4 to v6. I have v6 on my machine without any of the above issues.nnDid you try uninstalling both v4 and v6, rebooting, then installing v6 again?

    1. Hi Tim, nnNo, I assumed that 6 would over-write 4, if you know what I mean. Didnt think I’d need to uninstall first. Installing new version of Quicktime to see it this helps, ie with the codecs. Why it freezes? any ideas? otherwise it’s great…

  2. Update RAM to 4 gig. Shut down other programs when you plan to render. If your CPU is a P4 you may want to try a Quad CPU. I have not tried on Win7 with more RAM yet, but I expect this will be even faster than with Vista Quad or XP on a P4 CPU. If you have a lot of video you want to edit why not try Corel VideoStudio Pro x3. Very low cost for the power that it packs. I use CS6 all the time v/good product. Audio probs? Try a USB condenser mic. A better mic make a lot of difference! If you get stuck see the CS6 tutorial screencasts. You will find all you need there.

  3. Two tricks,
    take a word “automated” for example, and type one character to the right of each key and you get “siyp,syrf” – doing this means that you can use your family name if you want to.
    Take an unnatural word combination, like an adverb and a noun (an adverb, broadly defined, is a word which modifies any word other than a nouns), combine them the make a word that does not exist in the dictionary. SlowlyTruck is a combined word that does not appear when searched on the internet. Slightly change the spelling and you really have a wonderful password – how about Sl0w1yTruck

  4. It’s challenging to choose a password that we can personally remember and not known by others. 🙂 Great to see everyone is encouraged to have a ‘creative’ mind, even when it comes to protecting our accounts. Thanks for the heads up, Ivan, much needed!
    @wchingya
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