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What really makes a strong password?

Patrick Cassidy
Oct 19

What really makes a strong password?

Remembering and coming up with new passwords is not something anyone looks forward to. But as your first line of defence, this must be secure as hackers use a variety of approaches to guess your passwords and to break into your accounts. With these approaches constantly changing and growing in sophistication this has never been more important.

Follow one of these simple methods to help you remember and create a strong password.

The Sentence Method

The idea is to think of a random sentence and transform it into a password using a rule. For example, taking the first letter of every word in “I usually get about 10-15 emails each day” would be Iuga10-15eed.

To anyone else, it’s gibberish, but to you it makes perfect sense. Make sure the sentence you choose is as personal and as unguessable as possible.

The Electrum Method

Instead of a difficult to remember string of characters, you can make a lengthy phrase instead. The longer and more random the better. How can you create a 12 word seed of your own? It’s as simple as it sounds. Come up with 12 random words.

You can start with a phrase such as: Even in winter, the dogs party with brooms and Kit Kats – just make sure it is not a simple phrase or a phrase taking from popular movies or literature.

PAO Method

Person-Action-Object (PAO) gained popularity in Joshua Foer’s bestselling book Moonwalking with Einstein. The method suggests: Select an image of an interesting place (Giant’s Causeway ). Select a photo of a familiar or famous person (Beyonce). Imagine some random action along with a random object and you’ve got: Beyonce driving a computer chair at Giant’s Causeway

At least, that’s the theory put forward by Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists who suggest using the Person-Action-Object (PAO) method to create unbreakable passwords. Our brains remember better with visual, shared cues and with outlandish, unusual scenarios.

C3 Can Help

Our final words of wisdom; use 2 factor authentication, don’t recycle passwords and don’t write them down!

To get advice on IT security or to get 2FA set up, contact us below.



028 7964 5865

Find out more about 2 factor authentication: read here