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How Do I Choose a Good User Password
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Author:  Rich_Roast [ Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:18 pm ]
Post subject:  How Do I Choose a Good User Password

Class: Generic Password Creation Tutorial
Difficulty: Easy
Time: Minutes
Desirability: A good password is one that is secure and easy to remember

There are software password generators, but for times when you want or need to create your own, the following is a little mnemonic for picking a good one. This tutorial is meant to help users not lose their user password which is very difficult to recover, since it is also the root password, leading to a Catch-22 situation of not being able to change it. That said, it is applicable to many password needs.

Choose a sentence, preferably close to your heart and not one that's massively well known. Try to have a literal number in the sentence. For example I might choose:

Code:
I went to school at Allen Glen's ten years ago


Abbreviate the whole to letters, numbers, and punctuation. Retain capitals.

Code:
IwtsaAG'10ya


(Some people would transform the 'to' into '2' as well, as in SMS-speak. This is optional, use whatever works for you. Some also like to transform letters that look like numbers to literal numbers; I would not do this myself as it deprives my character set of those letters, but if it works for you then good.)

The resultant password is reasonably secure, yet the sentence which you can remember easily gives you the key.

If you can think of a sentence that is hard to guess but for you links mnemonically to the context you need that password in, then so much the better.

Code:
I like Twitter but I'd rather have three cases of Amstel


Code:
IlTbI'rh3coA


You can add little "salts" (not really cryptographic salts), if you like, like insisting on placing an underscore between the third and fourth character, or an asterisk two characters before the first number to appear.

Note, however, that certain databases will not accept special characters for security reasons. Adjust the formula as necessary.

No, that's not my Twitter password. :P

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