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How to Create a Strong Password

How to Create a Strong Password in 2024: Generator & Examples

If you want to know how to create a strong password, read on. There are several tricks you can use, from password phrases and mnemonic phrases to password managers like 1Password and Bitwarden. We’ll explore all your options for creating secure passwords.

Mindy BornSamuel ChapmanJasna Mishevska

Written by Mindy Born (Writer)

Reviewed by Samuel Chapman (Writer, Editor)

Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska (Lead Fact-Checking Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-03-01T16:02:53+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: How to Create a Strong Password
  1. Use a Password Generator to Create Random Strong Passwords: A password generator uses a combination of letters, numbers and special characters to make each password difficult to guess.
  2. Use a Password Manager to Store Your Passwords: Tools like LastPass, 1Password or the Google Chrome password manager securely store your passwords. They also enter them automatically on websites so you don’t have to remember them. 
  3. Use a Combination of Letters, Numbers and Special Characters: Doing this will make your passwords harder to guess and more resistant to brute force attacks.
  4. Never Use Your Personal Information: Using personal information such as names, family members and birthdates can make the password easier to crack. Cybercriminals sometimes use manipulative tactics to find out personal information and guess your passwords.
  5. Avoid Using Your Name or Other Simple Phrases: Again, these elements make your password easy to guess. 
  6. Do Not Use the Same Password on All Your Accounts: Using the same password for all accounts could create a security risk if one of your accounts is compromised.
  7. Use Mnemonic Phrases as Passwords: A mnemonic passphrase is when you take a phrase like “I’ve been to Tokyo 8 times” and use the first letter of each word to create a password. In this case, your password would be IbtT8t.

Your passwords are the gatekeepers to all of your personal information online, so it’s important to choose strong ones. In this article, we’ll show you how to create a strong password, and just as importantly, how to remember it. When juggling several online accounts, it’s easy to give in to password fatigue and opt for the same memorable password across the board. 

Cybercriminals thrive on predictability, though. Using the same password for everything means that a breach in one account opens the doors to all the rest. We’ve shared our own password generator at the top of the page, so you can create as many secure passwords as you need right now for free.

  • 05/01/2022

    Rewrote the article and elaborated on good password practices.

  • 03/01/2024 Facts checked

    Updated to contain new information that will keep your data and personal info secure.

7 Tips for Creating a Secure Password

The key to a good password is length and complexity. Aim for a minimum of 10 characters, and consider going even longer. A passphrase with numbers and symbols in place of letters can be a good way to choose a master password you will remember. You can then use it with a password generator to create individual passwords for each of your important accounts.

1. Use a Password Generator to Create Random Strong Passwords

Using a password generator is a smart move. These tools create long, randomized passwords that are difficult to crack. Aim for at least 12 characters or longer while combining uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. We have our own random password generator at the top of this page, so you can easily create one now.

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2. Use a Password Manager to Store Your Passwords

A password manager helps you create, store, and retrieve complex and unique passwords for each of your online accounts. This reduces the risk of password reuse while eliminating the need to remember every password. 

1Password tops our list of the best password managers. It can securely encrypt your passwords and autofill them on websites and apps. You can check our 1Password review for more info.

3. Use a Combination of Letters, Numbers and Special Characters

Creating a strong password involves combining letters, numbers and special characters. For instance, instead of using a word like “armadillo” that you can find in the dictionary, you could change it to “ArMad2ll0%” to make it a lot stronger. This adds some capital letters, swaps some letters for numbers and includes a percent sign, making the password much harder to guess. 

A dictionary attack is one method that hackers use to crack passwords. This is when attackers use a list of common words or phrases from a dictionary to gain access. It’s important not to simply change letters to numbers that are obvious replacements, as many dictionary attacks can compensate for I = 1, A = @, etc. So, it’s worthwhile to get creative with your replacements. 

4. Never Use Your Personal Information

It’s never a good idea to use personal information in your passwords. For example, if your name is Jake and you were born in 1985, using “Jake1985” as your password isn’t secure. It’s easy for someone to guess or find this information, especially if it’s available on social media. 

5. Avoid Using Your Name or Other Simple Phrases

It’s important not to use your name, dictionary words or common phrases in your passwords. For instance, a password like “peachcobbler” or “Jane1234” is easy to guess. Cybercriminals often use strategies such as brute force attacks to guess passwords. For these attacks, they use software to systematically attempt all password combinations until they find the correct one.

Instead, using random passwords with a combination of words, numbers and special characters will be way more secure. For example, “ReD@Shoe&CupC@k3” is a much stronger password.

6. Do Not Use the Same Password on All Your Accounts

Reusing the same password across multiple accounts is a common mistake that can lead to a domino effect of unauthorized access. If you use the same password for your email, social media and online banking accounts, a breach in one of these services could compromise all your accounts.

7. Use Mnemonic Phrases as Passwords

Mnemonic phrases can be a great way to create strong and memorable passwords. For instance, you could take a sentence like “My first car was a red Toyota in 2005.” and turn it into “MfcwarTi2005.” by using the first letter of each word and including the punctuation. This is a complex password that is both secure and memorable.

What Makes a Strong Password?

A strong password will ideally have more than 12 characters and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. It shouldn’t be easily guessable, so avoid using personal details, common words or simple passwords made from number or letter patterns. Each password should also be unique to each account.

The purpose of a strong password is to create a barrier that prevents unauthorized users from accessing your accounts. The stronger the password, the more secure your accounts are.

How to Spot a Weak Password

Spotting a weak password involves looking for certain characteristics that would make it easy to guess. A shorter password is a weaker password, and no password should include personal information, common words or patterns. Here are some specific things to look for:

  • It’s too short: Passwords like “pwd1” or “abc123” are too short and can easily be cracked. A strong password should have 12 characters or more.
  • It uses personal information: If your password is something like “JohnSmith1997” then it’s weak because it uses readily available information like your name and birth year. 
  • It’s based on a common word or phrase: Passwords like “LetMeIn” or “password123” are easy targets for hackers. It is much better to use a mix of random words, numbers and special characters.
  • It follows a pattern: Passwords like “987654” or “qwerty” follow simple patterns and are among the first to be guessed in a brute force attack. Avoid sequences or repeated characters in your passwords.

Strong Password Examples

Below are some examples of strong passwords. We used a variety of methods to make them difficult for cybercriminals to crack with any of their tools and techniques. Keep in mind that these are just examples — it’s not a good idea to use any password you find on a public website.

  • Tr0ub4dor&34: This mixes uppercase and lowercase letters, uses numbers, includes a special character and is 12 characters long.
  • CorrectH0Rseb@tterySt4ple: This is a passphrase, which is easier to remember than a random string of characters, but the words have no obvious relation to each other. It also mixes uppercase and lowercase letters, uses numbers and includes a special character.
  • L4%6:32WKcZpi{eb#4t: This is a completely random string of characters, making it very hard to guess. It also uses a mix of the three character types. Our password generator, which you’ll find at the top of this page, can help you create a password like this, and you can even use a password manager like 1Password to remember it for you.

How to Keep Your Passwords Safe

Keeping your passwords safe is paramount for maintaining your personal and financial security. Passwords protect personal data, financial details and confidential communication. Unauthorized access can lead to identity theft, financial fraud or private messages being compromised. These strategies can help you protect your passwords.

  1. Don’t Give Out Your Passwords: Keep your passwords confidential. Sharing them, even with trusted friends or family, can lead to unauthorized access if the recipients aren’t careful with them. Once you share a password, you no longer have control over who has access to it.
  2. Don’t Keep Your Passwords on Your Phone or Computer: Storing passwords in a document on your phone or computer can make them an easy target for hackers. If your device is compromised, so are your passwords. Instead, consider using a reputable password manager like 1Password or Dashlane. For more information, read our full Dashlane review.
  3. Use Two-Factor Authentication: Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your accounts. Even if someone obtains your password, they will also need to access your second factor — like your phone or fingerprint — to log in. 

Final Thoughts: Creating Strong Passwords

You can start creating secure passwords right away by applying the principles we’ve discussed. While you can create strong passwords manually, choosing a password manager streamlines the process. These tools not only assist in generating strong passwords, but they also store them for you. 

It’s also important to understand secure storage practices. We have in-depth guides on how to store passwords, as well as reliable backup solutions and strategies for data protection. This way, even if you lose your device, all your passwords and private information remain both accessible and secure. 

How do you currently manage your passwords? Do you use any of the techniques mentioned in this article? Have you experienced any security incidents related to weak passwords? Please share your insights in the comments below. Thank you for reading!

FAQ: Creating Strong Passwords

  • A strong password should be a minimum of 12 characters. It should also incorporate a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid personal information such as your name, birthday or identification numbers, and avoid using dictionary words or common patterns like “12345.”

  • A unique password is one that you haven’t used before. Passwords should be different for each of your accounts so that if one account is compromised, the others remain safe.

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