The secret to creating a hard-to-crack password that’s unique and easy to remember is to focus on making it memorable and making it hard to guess. Seems simple enough, right? By learning a few simple skills, you can easily create a strong and memorable password with minimal effort.
- Make it long. This is the most critical factor. Choose nothing shorter than 12 characters, more if possible.
- Use a mix of characters. The more you mix up letters (upper-case and lower-case), numbers, and symbols, the more potent your password is, and the harder it is for a brute force attack to crack it.
- Make it a passphrase. Some of the easiest-to-remember passwords aren’t words at all but collections of words that form a phrase or sentence or helps to create a mental picture. Perhaps the opening sentence to your favorite novel, or the opening line to a good joke. The idea is to create something that is easily memorable for you.
- Don’t use easily guessed passwords. “password” and “iloveyou” are commonly used, and easily guessed. Avoid using district specific words like Coppell, or the name or mascot of your school.
- Avoid common substitutions. Password crackers are hip to the usual substitutions. Whether you use DOORBELL or D00R8377, the brute force attacker will crack it with equal ease. These days, random character placement is much more effective than common leetspeak* substitutions. (*leetspeak definition: an informal language or code used on the Internet, in which standard letters are often replaced by numerals or special characters.)
- Don’t use memorable keyboard paths. Much like the advice above not to use sequential letters and numbers, do not use sequential keyboard paths either (like qwerty and 12345678). These are among the first to be guessed.
- Don't reuse passwords. Make sure the password you use for your CISD account is not being used for any of your other accounts.