How to choose a Perfect Password

Creating a good password that’s hard to hack but easy to remember is no simple task, yet it’s vitally important for protecting your personal and financial information. Here are a few ideas for creating secure passwords.

How to choose a Perfect PasswordChoosing a password is easy. Choosing one that is secure, is the challenge.

The problem is that password selection involves two conflicting goals.

Goal 1: Pick a password that’s easy to remember.

Goal 2: Pick a password that’s hard to crack.


If all you had to worry about was Goal 1, your name would be your password and life would be simple. At the same time, if you only wanted something difficult to hack, you could easily come up with a long series of random letters, numbers, and characters that would confound even the most hardened hacker.

You would not, of course, be able to remember that password. You would have to write it down somewhere or carry it with you, making breaking into your computer as easy as looking at that Post-it note affixed to your keyboard that says: “My password is: Ssc4$ll31ap*.”

Basic Rules

SS Computers provides some good basic rules that apply to passwords.

  • Longer is better. Six characters is the minimum. Many sites require 8.
  • Made up or altered words are better than actual words. Avoid calendar dates as part of the numeric portion of password.
  • Personal information that can easily be looked up or verified should be avoided.
  • Don’t use account numbers or other billing information as part of a password.
  • The use of adjacent keys or consecutive numbers are easy for others to notice and should be avoided.
  • Maintain a separate password for each highly sensitive account, such as email, financial institutions, and social media.
  • It’s OK to recycle for sites that don’t store personal info, such as Internet radio stations.
  • Memorize your password. You should never write it down.
  • Mix letters, numbers, and punctuation and, when possible, include both uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Don’t overdo it and make the password so complicated it becomes cumbersome. It should be something you can type fairly quickly.