What Are The Characteristics Of A Strong Password?

What Are The Characteristics Of A Strong Password?

In today’s digital world, the importance of having a good security measure in place can’t be overstressed. Taking a closer look at the advantages of security, you’ll understand why many organizations invest lots of resources into keeping their sensitive data secure.

When it comes to keeping your facility and sensitive data secure, you need to understand that there are several different types of security measures that you can opt for. One of them is by using a strong password.

A strong password is one that’s created to be hard for humans and the computer to detect. One of its characteristics is that it needs to be complex – a mix of symbols, uppercase & lowercase letters, and numbers. Apart from that, a strong password should be unique and long.

No doubt, having a strong password alone isn’t enough to secure sensitive data. However, you need to understand that it’s the first line of defense against any unsolicited access to your devices. In the rest of this article, I’ll further share everything you need to know about a strong password, including how to create one.

What Exactly Is a Strong Password?

As earlier mentioned, a strong password is anyone that’s long, unique, and complex for humans and the computer to detect. Furthermore, a password that’s long, but not unique and complex is considered not considered strong. The same thing also goes for short passwords that are unique and complex.

In case you don’t know, the function of a password is to help secure sensitive data by restricting unauthorized access to your devices. That said, if you end up creating a password that’s not strong, it means it can easily be guessed; this can pose a lot of security threats to you.

Advantages of Having a Strong, Secure Password?

As we all know, we’re in a world where information sharing and security issues have become a day-to-day struggle. We use our devices to store and share sensitive files with other devices. However, it’s worth knowing that these devices have their issues. One of them is that they are potentially vulnerable to misuse by unsolicited users.

Furthermore, weak passwords are those that are short, based on personal information, less complex, or can be found in the dictionary. Using this kind of password can pose a lot of security concerns for your devices. This is where the importance of having a strong password comes into play.

By having a strong password, you’ll keep unauthorized users away from accessing your mobile device, PC, or any other type of system. That’s not all; a secure and strong password also helps users to add an extra layer of protection to their presence on the internet.

Characteristics of a Strong Password

Now that you’ve seen the benefits attached to having a strong, unique, and secure password in place, let’s proceed and address the burning question regarding the characteristics of a strong password.

To answer the question, I’ll say that three key factors characterize a strong password. They are:

  • Length
  • Uniqueness
  • Complexity

That said, here’s a quick question; how exactly do the factors affect the strength of a password? You’ll find out the answers to the question in the next section of this post.

  • Length

Length is by far the most important of all the three factors listed above. I’m saying that because there’s no way you can consider a password complex when it’s short.

But how long or short should a password be to be considered strong or weak?

A password that’s 6 characters or less in length is generally considered short. For instance, imagine you create a 4 character password and have it for your computer device. What you need to know is there are a couple of ways that people can arrange the characters and get to know the password. That’s not all; you need to also understand that it’ll only take a computer system a few seconds to arrange the characters and predict what the password will be.

Many people will advise their users to use a minimum of 8 characters as a password. While that’s safe, I’ll say you should settle for 12 characters or more.

  • Complexity

As earlier mentioned, a password can also be considered strong if it’s complex to detect. So, in addition to using a 12 character or more password, ensure you also arrange them in a very complex format.

That brings us to the question of how complex should a password be to be considered strong?

To make your 12-character long password complex, you need to make it a mix of upper case letters, lower case letters, and numbers. In addition to that, also ensure that you add special characters to the password. By so doing, you’ll be creating a strong password that’ll be extremely difficult for people to detect.

  • Uniqueness

Apart from length and complexity, another factor to consider when creating a strong password is uniqueness. How unique your password is will determine how strong and secure it’ll be to restrict unauthorized access.

A unique password means you are the only one that knows it. Avoid writing it down on your dairy, device’s notepad, or anywhere else that people can see it. Furthermore, avoid using the same password across multiple accounts. This means that the password you are using should only be unique to a single device.

Things to Consider When Creating a Strong Password

  1. Make your password at least 12 characters in length. Ensure to use a mix of uppercase letters, lower case letters, special characters, and numbers.
  2. Avoid using personal information, such as your date of birth or name.
  3. Avoid using consecutive keyboard characters. Examples are uiop, qwerty, and asdf.
  4. Ensure no one else can see you when creating the password. Also, never trust anyone with your password.
  5. Stay away from unsecured platforms or at least avoid sharing your password on them.
  6. Don’t use the password for a long time; instead, change it regularly.

Mark Lewis

Security nerd with a Data Privacy First mindset!

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