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How to Create a Strong Password

Complicated. That’s the word to describe life right now. Complicated.

Don’t you feel that life is complicated? That people are complicated? That things are just complicated?

I mean, why can’t life be simple? People be simple? Things be simple?

I am just casually voicing the thoughts in my head that’s all. But here’s the thing. Not everything in life should be simple. Just like your passwords. And when your passwords are the star of the show, the key to your lock, complicated is good. Repeat after me. Complicated is good.

So how do you create a strong password?

Step #1: Use five different words that relate to a memory that is unique to you

When it comes to creating a password, the longer it is, the harder it is to guess. Be sure not to use personal information such as your name, NRIC or birthdate, or other information that can be obtained easily, aka by doing a search online.

So for example, your password can be learntorideabikeatfive, or iliketoeatkimchiramen (p.s. I just had kimchi ramen for lunch so you can clearly see what is influencing my blog writing right now..)

Step #2: Use uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers or symbols to make it even harder to crack

Remember to keep it random by ensuring that your password does not have a pattern and is unpredictable. This means that it should be difficult for others to guess, even with special tools. Some examples of obvious patterns include:

  • Using commonly used phrases e.g. maytheforcebewithyou

  • Capitalising the first letter of the password e.g. Livelongandprosper

  • Adding a number at the end e.g. qwerty1

  • Replacing a letter with a number or symbol e.g. p@ssw0rd

So going back to my previous examples, your password could now be LearnttoRIDEabikeat5 or iliK32eAtk1mChirAm3N. Getting complicated right?

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) when available

Now that you have successfully created a strong password, you should enable 2FA, which stands for Two-Factor Authentication, to add an extra layer of security to your account.

2FA uses more than one type of information to identify who you are in order to grant you access to your online account. The first factor in 2FA is usually something that you know, such as a password, while the second factor is usually something you have, such as a one-time password (OTP) from a physical OTP token.

Another form of authentication involves biometrics, which includes fingerprints and face recognition. The second layer of security ensures that even if a hacker obtains your password, your account is still protected if he is unable to get hold of the second factor of authentication.

2FA is readily available for many of your online accounts, including your email and social media accounts.

Maintain Good Password Hygiene

Aside from creating a strong password and enabling 2FA, it is important that you take steps to protect your password:

  • Use different passwords for your online accounts

  • Don’t share your passwords with anyone or write them down

  • Don’t log in to online services over unsecured Wi-Fi networks

  • Don’t provide your passwords or OTP in response to a phone call, email or suspicious website as it could be a phishing scam

If you believe that your password has been compromised, change it immediately and check for signs of unauthorised activity. Don’t wait until it is too late. Start using strong passwords and enabling 2FA for your online accounts today. Because remember, weak passwords can shut you out of your life!

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