Don’t lie about it. You, unless you are a member of anonymous, or the Kevin Mitnick, you have been hacked. Well so have I. My most recent hacking issue came to my Yahoo email account. I had a rather plain password that I have been using for years, known to my wife as “the usual one”.
Well, around the fall of last year, I was watching my favorite show; Hawaii 5-0. It was an episode where sensitive information was kept under cyber lock and key. Well, to make a long story short, some ne’er do wells and miscreants wanted the information, but could not hack into the computer or get past its cypher.
The password cypher explained below, was based on something we learned in Jr. High School science; The Periodic Table of the Elements.
While you will not be able to guess my cipher, here is how you can incorporate this into your own cipher to make a potentially un-hackable, and probably hard as (petrified wood) to remember.
1. Pick a date in your life, the long version; 10/02/2013
2. Download and print the Periodic Table.
3. The numeric month, corresponds to an atomic number. The example here is 10 which is the atomic number for Neon
4. Take that, and the atomic symbol of Ne and combine them. You now have Ne10 as your first 4 characters.
5. Repeat this for the day. Here, 02 is the atomic number for Helium. Now combine them as you did in step 4. You now have Ne10He02. This is now 8 characters.
6. The last step is to break apart the year. 2013. 20 is the atomic number for Calcium or Ca and 13 being Aluminum or Al.
7. If you have performed your cipher correctly, your new password is Ne10He02Ca20Al13.
You can easily change it up by reversing it like Al1320Ca02He10Ne, or change the case of the letters. You can also substitute the atomic number for the atomic weight minus the decimal. The possibilities are endless here.
Of course this is not the only way to make a hacker challenging password. Having an easy to crack password, may make it easy for you to know and remember, but keep in mind, if it is easy for you, it is easy for them. Don’t use your birthday, your wife’s birthday, your kids bday or any combo of such. Don’t use a password that has words someone can get from your online profiles, etc. The longer, the more diverse, the better. Choose letters, numbers, symbols that do not have a pattern. Use lowercase, uppercase, etc. Most sites ask for 6 or more characters. Personally, I suggest 16 minimum. By all means, NEVER use an online password generator. It’s online; someone is always watching. Go old school; pen, paper and then a shredder. Go all Mission Impossible on it and you should be fine.
If you are still a disbeliever, read the password hacking horror story of Mat Honan..