How Strong Is Your Password?

Oh the dreaded password. They come by the dozen and are needed for almost everything we set out to accomplish. We’ve moved beyond ‘password’ and ‘123456’ but how strong is your password really?
When registering for any account for retail or services, we find ourselves typing a password for the approval rating of that particular site. Some require numbers, letters and punctuation so a ‘one size fits all’ approach isn’t logistically possible.
So we have to start the process, beginning in the red with a weak password, then increasing the complexity until we reach the green strong password approval. But what if those password rating systems aren’t as effective as we imagine them to be?
Password strength conceptions around the globe were shattered with the release of Concordia University’s study claiming that these meters are “highly inconsistent”, “fail to provide strength measurements” and are “blatantly misleading”. Yes, it’s true. Our entire password history is a lie.
No one will deny that passwords are important. But when every website we encounter demands a password the water tends to get a little muddy. We appropriately assign password difficulty based on the importance of the information involved. Think about your bank password (don’t say it out loud!) and think of its complexity with a mixture of letters, numbers and characters. Now think about your Pandora password (you can say that one): it is probably something simple and easy to remember, right? This is because our bank information is much more important than our playlist selections in most situations.
Concordia claims that depending on the site, your Pandora password will be considered strong and your bank password will be considered weak due to large inconsistencies across the board when testing password safety. So as a best practice policy we present a few tips to keep your information safeguarded from prying eyes whether it be your playlist, email or personal financial information:

  1. Think NASA

Don’t use NASA as a password. Instead think of an acronym that will be easy for you to remember but will seem like gibberish to someone else.
Example: Let’s say you enjoy hiking through the mountains but often forget to bring your water bottle.
Password: DF2BYWBNTYGHD! is an acronym for “Don’t forget to bring your water bottle next time you go hiking dummy!”.

  1. Finish the sentence

Rather than picking a word and adding numbers and special characters to the end, think of writing a small sentence instead. Length is key to a strong password and most recommend at least ten characters.
Example: For all the poets out there who love Emily Dickinson.
Password: Imnobody-whoareyou?

  1. Get management involved

By using a password generator and password manager you can make your whole password life much easier with one difficult password and the rest stored within it. The only drawback is that if your account gets hacked, the assailant will have access to every single password you have entered. So it would be wise to pick an incredibly difficult password for your password manager.

For more information about passwords and account security visit our Knowledge Base at