Online Password Security

In this tutorial, we look at basic security practices that contribute to overall web security, like password security.

WordPress Security TutorialsThis tutorial is part of our tutorial series on WordPress Security. In this tutorial, we look at how improving basic security practices like password security can contribute to your overall web security.


Password Security

One of the most common methods used by hackers to crack into websites, computers, servers, etc. is to run brute-force attack software persistently on login areas, looking for weak password combinations.

Many potential vulnerabilities can be avoided with good security habits. Using strong passwords is one of the first and most important security habits you can develop.

A strong password is not only necessary to protect your website, but your entire online presence. A hacker who gains access to your computer administrator account is able to install malicious scripts that can potentially compromise your entire server.

Creating A Strong Password

The goal with creating strong passwords is to make it hard for other people to guess them and hard for a brute force attack to succeed.

Strong Password Foundations

To create a strong password, keep the following in mind:

  • Avoid any permutation of your own real name, username, company name, or name of your website. You also should avoid choosing a simple password like your child’s name or your pet’s name.
  • Avoid using words from a dictionary, in any language.
  • Don’t use short passwords. Make your passwords long (over 8 characters) whenever possible. The longer the password you have, the stronger it is. 8 – 12 character passwords are ideal. See the ‘Password-Permutation’ section below for more details.
  • Avoid using numeric-only or alphabetic-only password. A mixture of both is best. Use a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and non-alphanumeric characters. Non-alphanumeric characters are symbols like: $, #, [, %,^,&,}, ~, /, *, @, etc…
  • Even though you have probably heard this a million times before, it is worth repeating it again: Don’t use the same password for all your websites and logins.
  • Elaborate, strong passwords are not going to be easy to remember. Consider using a password management tool (see below).

Strong Password Generators

Many password generators are available that can be used to automatically create secure passwords.

You can find free secure password generators online …

Password Security


You can also create passwords using password management tools such as RoboForm

Password Security

RoboForm is a powerful tool that helps you manage multiple passwords easily and access all of your logins with a single click from your desktop PC, laptop or mobile device …

To learn more about password management software, see the tutorial below:

Password Management Software

WordPress also features a password strength meter which is shown when changing your password in WordPress. Use this feature when changing your password to ensure the strength of your password is adequate …

Password Security

Password Permutations

In password security terms, ‘permutation’ refers to the number of possible combinations of characters, numbers, symbols, etc. that it would take for someone to decode a password.

For example, if you have a 3-character password using only the numbers 1, 2, and 3 and they are allowed to repeat, then there are 27 possible password permutations, as shown below:

  1. 111
  2. 112
  3. 113
  4. 121
  5. 122
  6. 123
  7. 131
  8. 132
  9. 133
  10. 211
  11. 212
  12. 213
  13. 221
  14. 222
  15. 223
  16. 231
  17. 232
  18. 233
  19. 311
  20. 312
  21. 313
  22. 321
  23. 322
  24. 323
  25. 331
  26. 332
  27. 333

The permutation formula for a 3-character password where the password characters are allowed to repeat is as follows:

Password Security

If your password is only three characters long, and you use all 26 characters from the English alphabet, then the number of permutations required to decode your password are as follows:

Password Security

Any hacker using a brute-force attack software and a computer with minimal processing power can crack the above password in no time.

Adding just one more character to your password, however, can increase the magnitude and complexity of your password to a level that would make it significantly more difficult for hackers to crack, as shown below …

Password Security

As you can see, increasing your password length by just one character makes it significantly more difficult to crack.

An 8-character password that uses all 26 letters of the English alphabet plus 10 numbers (0 – 9) creates the following number of possible combinations …

Password Security

When you add in a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, plus non-alphanumeric characters (e.g. $, #, [, %,^,&,}, ~, /, *, @, etc.) to a case-sensitive password, then you can see just how significantly increased the magnitude of your password security will be.

Important Info

Make sure to implement strong password security measures for all of your online access points. This includes:

Additionally, make sure to research and implement or review the following security measures in your specific setup …

  • Email Password Security
  • FTP Password Security
  • Web Server / Web Hosting Security

Hopefully, the above will help you understand how improving basic security practices like password security can contribute to your overall web security and why using strong passwords for your online assets makes it more difficult for hackers to crack your passwords and breach your security measures.


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WordPress Security – Password Management Software

In this tutorial, we look at password management software that can help to improve online password security.

WordPress Security TutorialsThis tutorial is part of our tutorial series on WordPress Security. In this tutorial, we look at password management software you can use to improve online password security.


WordPress Security – Password Management Software

If you only use one password for everything and someone gets hold of this password, then you will have a huge problem on your hands, as that person will be able to access all of your online accounts.

Having a solid password security system in place requires not only creating strong passwords but also using different passwords for separate locations.

Trying to remember lots of different passwords for different places, however, can quickly become a nightmare, especially if you have multiple logins to keep track of (e.g. websites, email accounts, online banking, subscription and membership sites, forums, social media accounts, etc.), and you don’t have a way to keep all of your different passwords organized and easily accessible (whilst also making your passwords difficult for others to access).

Fortunately, there are software programs that can help you manage your passwords and do things with passwords that would be almost impossible to keep track of if you didn’t use a password manager.

Password managers are programs that help you manage all of your passwords (keeping these secure using one main password), save you time, help you stay organized, and of course, help keep all of your logins and valuable data safe.

Typically, with a password management program, one master password gets you into the “vault” section of the software where all of your other passwords are stored. Once a password has been properly stored, you can just navigate to the site that requires your password, click on a button and the login credentials will be auto-entered, granting you access to the site. You can find great password management programs for free or purchase these at minimal cost.

Browser-Based Password Managers

Browser-based password managers let you save, change, and delete passwords from your web browser. Web browsers like Firefox and GoogleChrome let you store passwords when you fill in a login form in a website and automatically log you back in when you revisit the site.

For example, here is the Firefox browser Password Manager …

Firefox Password Manager

And this is the Google Chrome password manager …

Google Chrome Password Manager

FireFox Password Manager

The Firefox Password Manager securely stores the usernames and passwords you use to access websites and then automatically fills them in for you the next time you visit …

Firefox Password Manager

To learn more about using the Firefox Password Manager to remember, view, delete and protect your passwords, see the help page below:


If you choose to use a separate password manager program (see below), or do not want to be asked to save passwords every time you log into a new site, you can enable/disable the password-saving feature in your browser.

To disable the password manager in your Firefox browser, go to your Firefox menu and select ‘Options’ …


Click on the Options > Security tab and adjust your password preferences, set a master password, edit your stored passwords, etc. in the ‘Passwords’ section, then click ‘OK’ to update your settings …

Firefox Password Manager

In Google Chrome, you can access the password management feature by clicking on the ‘Control’ button, selecting the ‘Settings’ menu, then clicking on the ‘Advanced Settings’ link and scrolling down the page until you get to the ‘Passwords and Forms’ section …

Google Chrome Password Manager

In the case of a browser-based password manager like Firefox, even though the Password Manager stores your usernames and passwords on your hard drive in an encrypted format, someone with access to your computer can still see or use them. It is recommended, therefore that you use a Master Password to protect stored logins and passwords. This will help to keep your passwords protected should your computer get lost or stolen.

Software-Based Password Managers

Below are some of the most trusted and widely-used password management solutions available:



RoboForm is one of the world’s leading password management software programs. It is simple to install, easy to use, lets you fill login usernames and passwords (and forms) automatically and works on all devices (PCs, laptops, mobile devices, etc.), all browsers and across all platforms …


RoboForm adds a toolbar to your browser, giving you easy and secure access to all your passwords and website logins, automatic filling in of web form with one click, the ability to save notes and bookmarks, search the internet, generate new passwords and more …


The RoboForm Logins menu helps you organize, edit and display all your stored usernames and passwords on one screen, and print a list of all your stored information. You can even have RoboForm go to a website, fill in your username and password, and click the submit button of forms automatically …


The Options menu allows you to completely customize RoboForm. Security settings, languages used, user data, as well as the look and feel of the toolbar can all be changed to meet your own personal preferences …


RoboForm is also continually updated, it’s secured with military-grade AES 256 encryption, and provides excellent user support.

To learn more about RoboForm, go here:



KeePass is a free portable password manager for PC (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X), with ports available for Android, iPhone, iPad, and more. KeePass keeps every username and password pair in an encrypted database, protected by a single master password or key (the only one you have to remember). It doesn’t store your database in the cloud unless you upload it there.

To learn more about KeePass, go here:

Hopefully, this tutorial has helped you gain a better understanding of how password management software can contribute to improving your web security.


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