Guidelines for creating secure passwords

This tip was submitted to the searchSecurity Tip Exchange by user Sujeet Bambawale. Let other users know how useful it is by rating the tip below.

Security awareness at the end-user level is very important to personal as well as corporate computing, and secure passwords are among the stepping stones towards a secure computing environment.

There has been some interesting reference material here regarding secure passwords, and these are some thoughts and comments that I would like to add into the mix.

In my opinion, secure passwords are those that meet the following criteria:
  • Alphanumeric
  • Can be typed in the dark (without looking at the keyboard)
  • Are not necessarily the conversions of an alphabetic sequence

    Passwords that need to be converted using some specific key, however easy-to-remember it may be, require some sort of mental calculation. Passwords that can be touch-typed (typed in the dark, or typed without looking at the keyboard -- just by aligning and using your fingers in a certain way on the keyboard) are far better because one doesn't need to write them down anywhere.

    The downside of converting easy-to-remember alphabetical or alphanumeric strings into "Passwordese," is that the seed string is still easy to remember for the user and easy to figure out for the attacker. Extending that ease-of-use concept, the key is also usually easy to figure out, and therefore the password generated is usually
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