How to create a hard-to-hack password

Dear Deb: Any tips on creating a password that hackers can’t crack?

How to create a hard-to-hack password

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Deb from QA — with decades of experience on the factory floor — will answer your questions to demystify and explain the digital manufacturing industry.

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Dear Deb: Any tips on creating a password that hackers can’t crack?

True story: I once helped my aunt deal with some email issues, and the password to her AOL account — I kid you not — was “password.” 

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking hackers will never guess that “password1” is your password.  They’re not sitting around typing different combinations. 

Many hackers use sophisticated, (and, frankly, unsophisticated software) that can make billions of guesses on your password per second! So if you think “LetMeIn” can never be guessed, you’ve got another thing coming. 

You must start thinking in terms of passphrases, not passwords. And they should be at least 12 characters long. Think of a long sentence that means something to you.

Maybe it’s your favorite movie quote. I’m a sucker for “Jerry Maguire,” and I can easily quote: “Show me the money!” You can use that entire phrase as your password, including the spaces between words.  

According to, a great free resource to test how strong your password is, a passphrase like that would take 52 quadrillion years for a password-cracking software to figure out. It might take a few more seconds for you to type, but the peace of mind you’ll get in return is priceless. 

Remember: Passphrases, not passwords. You’ll thank me later.

And while we’re at it, watch this video to learn some other relatively simple things you can do to thwart the baddies who may be trying to break into your systems.

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