In an on-line world increasingly populated by hackers and phishers, creating strong user passwords should no longer be considered unnecessary for the average home PC user.   One should avoid using words from the dictionary; sequences such as 1234; repeating patterns; or any sort of personal information such as birthdays, pet names, mascots, and such.

Here’s a suggestion to create a strong password:

1. Start with an easy-to-remember passphrase i.e. … My favorite food to eat at lunch is pizza.

2. Shorten the passphrase to the first letter of each word …mfftealip.

3. Capitalize several of the letters … mfFteAliP.

4. Add your age between two of the letters … mfFteAli63P.

5. Increase length by adding punctuation and or symbols … [mfFteAli63P!].

(adapted from Smart Computing, March 2010, pp. 36 by Kris Glaser Brambila)