A good password is made up of a number of different characteristics. For instance, it should be at least 6 – 8 characters long and should include at least two uppercase letters, lowercase letters and numbers. As you mentioned, it shouldn’t be obvious. Definitely do not use your children’s names or pet’s names. For that matter, it shouldn’t even be a real word person, place or thing. Use random characters. The more random the sequence of characters, the more secure the password will be.
An example of a secure password would be something like this: Hgs3@4j55nKX!sl
This password is 15 characters long and contains a combination of numbers, symbols, upper and lowercase letters. Since it’s long and random, it will be far tougher for someone to hack.
For workstations on a Windows network, Microsoft has developed official password creation rules. These rules are as follows:
- Passwords MUST be at least 6 characters long
- Passwords MAY NOT contain your username or any part of your full name
- Passwords MUST contain characters from at least three of the four class characteristics, which are listed below.
- English Upper Case
- English Lower Case
- Non-Alphanumeric (Punctuation marks and other symbols)
Remember, having a secure password is meaningless if you write it down and leave it where anybody could find it. However, if you have difficulty remembering a random password, then you can use a common word like “password,” for example, but add three of the four class characteristics to it to make it more secure, such as “paSSw0rd.” While not as secure as a completely random password, it still meets the outlined criteria, thus making it far more efficient then your kid’s name.