Examples of Weak and Strong Passwords

These are the best passwords to secure your account

Laptop with strong password options onscreen with a kitty nearby

Lifewire / Alex Dos Diaz

A good password isn't necessarily synonymous with one that's easy to remember. Good, in this context, is strong. You want a super-strong password so that it's more resistant to guessing and so that it's unlikely to be found in a brute force dictionary hack.

To keep your accounts secure, make a strong password that's difficult to guess and store it in a password manager so you won't forget.

Examples of Bad Passwords

Hackers and computer intruders use automated software to submit hundreds of guesses per minute to user accounts and attempt to gain access. These tools use lists of dictionary words to sequentially guess the password. Some tools add common symbols, numbers, or signs that may be added to the password to make it more complex.

Never use password as your password. A surprising number of people make this mistake.

Dictionary hacking tools that use an English dictionary list easily find words that are contained in that dictionary. If the simple word doesn't give access to an account, the tool modifies the submission and tries other iterations of the same word.

For example, a Dictionary hacking tool would attempt these iterations of the word Dog:

  • Dog
  • Dogs
  • Dogcatcher
  • Dogcatchers
  • Dogberry
  • Dogberries
  • Dogma
  • Dogmatic
  • Dogmatized
  • Dog1
  • Dog2
  • Dog3
  • Dog4

Password-guessing tools submit hundreds or thousands of words per minute. If a password is anything close to a dictionary word, it's extremely insecure. When a password does not resemble any regular word patterns, it takes longer for the repetition tool to guess it.

Passwords with personal information, such as the user's birthdate or street address, are easy targets for hackers, as well.

How to Make Your Password More Secure

The best way to create a secure password is to start with a simple password and turn it into one that's much more complex.

Login with smartphone to online bank account or personal information on internet
 

The table below shows examples of a simple password that is progressively made more complex. The first column lists simple words that are easy to remember and are found in the dictionary. The second column is a modification of the first column. The last column shows how the simple password is converted into one that is harder to figure out.

OK Password Better Password Excellent Password
kitty 1Kitty 1Ki77y
susan Susan53 .Susan53
jellyfish jelly22fish jelly22fi$h
smellycat sm3llycat $m3llycat
allblacks a11Blacks a11Black$
usher !usher !ush3r
ebay44 ebay.44 &ebay.44
deltagamma deltagamm@ d3ltagamm@
ilovemypiano !LoveMyPiano !Lov3MyPiano
Sterling SterlingGmal2015 SterlingGmail20.15
BankLogin BankLogin13 BankLogin!3

Here are other examples of password variations that purposely avoid using complete English word patterns:

  • Dog.lov3r
  • dOG.lov3r
  • i7ovemydog!!
  • d0gsaremybestfr13nds
  • sn00pdoggyd0G
  • Karm@beatsDogm@
  • C@ts-and-Dogs-Living-together

By injecting numbers and special characters instead of letters, these passwords take exponentially longer for a dictionary program to guess.