As already described in detail in the previous columns over the past two weeks the need and necessity for having strong, safe and secure passwords is very essential to protect our identity, data, reputation and finances in the virtual world. If we lose our password then we have lost everything in the virtual space and it is going to be an uphill battle to regain all that we will lose after that. The six rules for making and using safe and strong passwords have been discussed at length in the previous two columns.
The moot point now is how do we follow all the cumbersome rules and make such secure and strong passwords? How do we make passwords that are complex and unique? Such passwords we cannot write anywhere, share with anyone and store in the account itself? It is definitely a herculean task because we make so many passwords for so many sites that it is humanly impossible to remember each and every one correctly – especially if they have to be complex and unique.
This is definitely a challenge. But all challenges need to be faced and no problem is insurmountable. With this motto in mind we can think of a solution. One solution is that the user can purchase some form of password manager software. In this case the user has to store all his passwords in one program and that program or software will manage all the passwords. The user has just to remember only one strong password.
But if the user does not want to spend more money to buy a new software, certain exercises have been developed so that strong and secure passwords can be created and that too at no cost to the user. One such exercise is described below and it can be used as a model for password creation and use.
“Everything Is Fair In Love And War”
This is called a security sentence. It can be a saying as I have chosen or it may be the name of a movie (Jo Jeeta Who Hi Sikandar) or may be religious chant (Om Bhur Bhuva Svaha Tat Savitar Vare Niyam) etc. The only rider is that it must have 6 or more words. From this security sentence we generate a security key. In the above case the key may be – eifil&w. How is this formed? This is the first letter of each word. This generated key is very complex, it is not a dictionary word and it is not contain any personal information of mine. Thus it satisfies the first rule – that the password should be very complex. The user can use any security sentence and he can choose the alphabets in any sequence he/she chooses. Means it need not be the first alphabet of each word, it can be any combination.
The second requirement is that the password needs to be unique. For this the security key is followed by the name of the site the user is planning to log into and thus will not forget the name and to add it on to the password to make it unique.
For example –
Thus the second requirement is satisfied and the passwords become unique. To make the passwords more strong and complex we add the favorite number and favorite alphabet at the end of each password. The example is –
This way we can make “n” number of passwords or infinite number of passwords that are complex and unique. Passwords which we can easily remember and we do not need to be write down anywhere or share with anyone. All we need to remember is one security sentence. If we do not share this security sentence with anyone, no one will be able to guess the password that we may have made. We can also change the security sentence from time to time and hence reset and change our passwords.
This is one of the ways of making strong and secure passwords. We may follow the password manager software route or the physical exercise route – but the crux of the matter is that we should adopt newer and better methods at making and maintaining our passwords so that all our data and information can be kept safe and secure from cyber thugs and criminals.