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Commonly two methods to guess a password are used:
Use Long Passwords
Choose passwords that are as long as allowed by the software. Make your passwords at least 10 or 12 characters long. Short passwords do not leave enough choices to prevent their being guessed by repeated trials. Ideally your password should contain at least one character from each of the following categories:
may seem absolutely random but will be quite easy to remember for someone whose name is Raj Shekhar, who was born on 1978, who had a dog named Bruno (notice how the upper case and lower case letters have been mixed), and whose favourite color is black. (Again, notice the mix of upper and lower case.)
If you had used only one of these as your password, crackers with some personal knowledge about you would have compromised it. However, if these are mixed in with other characters and words, they can increase the length of your password without compromising its security -- while keeping it easy to remember.
Use Shocking Nonsense
Q: How do I choose a good password or phrase?Shocking nonsense means to make up a short phrase or sentence that is both nonsensical and shocking; that is, it contains grossly obscene, racist, impossible or another extreme mix of ideas. This technique is permissable because the passwords is never (ideally) revealed to anyone with sensibilities to be offended.
A: Shocking nonsense makes the most sense
A very weak example is
<SAMP>`Bart Simpson beats up Einstein'</SAMP>. or with some mixing of upper and lower case characters, <SAMP>`bartSimpsonBeatsUpEinstein'</SAMP>. Making up many far more shocking or entertaining examples is left as an exercise for the reader.
Shocking nonsense passwords which are quite long cannot be easily cracked by use of brute force attack.
Use the First Letter of Each Word
Another technique for creating strong passowrds is to use the first
letter of each word of an easily remembered phrase. For example
<SAMP>`Mhall'</SAMP> is formed by taking the first characters of of each word in the sentence <SAMP>`Mary had a little lamb'</SAMP>.
This technique can be further strengthened by mixing the password with some digits and punctuations. For example, <SAMP>`M!hal%l'</SAMP>.
An even stronger password can be obtained by typing one key to the left on a standard <samp>QWERTY</samp> keyboard. The above password after applying this technique becomes <SAMP>`N!gpk%k'</SAMP>.
Choosing a strong password is just a small step in securing your resources. Using the guidelines above will help you choose passwords that are easy to remember, and at the same time strong.
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