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How to create strong passwords

Media on Mars blog post thumbnail: Illustration of a lock
Reading Time 2 minutes
Blog post author picture: Orla Larkin

Passwords are your first line of defence between you and the cyber bad guys. More than likely many of you will bank, shop, correspond and date online. Your money and credit card information is valuable but your private data is also an important asset that you may want to keep to yourself.

It’s been estimated that the average person uses ten passwords a day, and large companies like Google and Microsoft recommend that you use a different one for each site and update them regularly. It’s a mammoth task so here are a few tips on how to create strong passwords that are easy(ish) to remember.

  1. Pick a phrase that’s meaningful to you e.g. dogsrockcatssuck
  2. Use numbers, letters and symbols and make it 10+ characters D0gsR0ck+CatsSuck.  See what I did? I added some capital letters, made the letter ‘o’ Zeros and I added in a + symbol. To make it a bit easier on yourself you can be systematic and replace the same numbers and symbols in each phrase that you use.
  3. Keep your password recovery email up to date. If your brain fails you and you forget your password, you’ll want to be able to reset it.
  4. Add a phone number to your profile. Sometimes password recovery will send a code to your phone via SMS to prove your identity.

Remember take a zen approach and try not to get annoyed if you are constantly being asked to prove who you are through various PINs, codes and passwords. It’s a necessary evil to protect us all from scammers and ne’er-do-wells.

Finally remember that no legitimate bank or store will ever (never ever) ask you to send them your password via email, so don’t do it.

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