10 Creative Ideas For Stronger Passwords

Passwords are the bane of the average technology user. As applications begin requiring stronger passwords they become harder to remember. Hard to remember passwords generally get scribbled down somewhere, stuffed under the keyboard, or stored in a plain text file on the desktop. What good is a strong password if someone finds your hidden scrawlings?

The key is creating a strong password which is easily remembered! But what makes a strong password?

A strong password is measured in entropy. This is a measurement of how hard it would be to crack a password with brute forcing software or to outright guess it. There are a number of elements to measure entropy but the most important element is length. You see, the longer a password is the harder it is to guess or brute force. A longer easy to remember password can be harder to crack than a shorter complex password chocked full of symbols, upper/lower case letters, and numbers. Ideally, a strong password will be a good mixture of both length, numbers/symbols, and upper/lower case letters.

Let’s take a look at 10 creative examples of strong (and long) easy to remember passwords. Use these passwords to generate your own unique password ideas.

1.) Tongue twister password

This is a new take on classic tongue twisters. Take a tongue twister you can remember and tweak the details. It’s important to tweak the details because common place sayings or rhymes are often guessed by dictionary attacks. These are massive files fed in to a cracking program which contain a list of commonly used passwords and sayings.

For example…

“Susy sold seashells by the seashore” becomes “Adam sold apples by the airport”

adamsoldapplesbytheairport

Just like magic you created a 26 character password that’s easy to remember and hard to guess by a computer. You could get more creative by adding a memorable year to the end.

2.) I will never password

Think of something you know you will never do again and make it your password. For example “I will never bite in to frozen blueberries again!”

iwillneverbiteintofrozenblueberriesagain!

3.) First love password

Everyone remembers their first love. It is small sayings like these that are easy to remember and hard to guess! Don’t let your S.O. see this one!

“My first love will always be Grace”

myfirstlovewillalwaysbeGrace

4.) Favorite movie quote password

“Gandalf said you shall not pass!”

Gandalfsaidyoushallnotpass!

5.) The directions password

Think of how you would give someone directions from your house to the main street (or another place close by.)

“Take a left then a right then go straight”

takealeftthengorightthengostraight

6.) The dog password

“I always call my dog by his name fido”

ialwayscallmydogbyhisnamefido

7.) Pet peeve password

Always easy to remember a pet peeve!

“Why do boneheads never use their blinker?”

whydobonheadsneverusetheirblink?

8.) Ingredients password

Think of the ingredients to your favorite dish or cocktail.

“1 box of noodles and 1 package of powdered cheese”

1boxofnoodlesand1packageofpowderedcheese

9.) Spoiler password

Spoil the end of your favorite movie.

“Bruce Willis was dead the entire time!”

brucewilliswasdeadtheentiretime

10.) I hate passwords password

Pronounce your timeless hatred for passwords!

“Why must passwords be so long and hard to remember?”

whymustpasswordsbesolongandhardtoremember?

Conclusion

This should get those creative juices flowing. Next time you need ideas for passwords remember this list!

 

 

How To Setup Email With Google G Suite

Google offers a premium service for their suite of applications called G Suite. Through G Suite you can setup users, domains, and configure email. This is useful when you want a real email address instead of a standard gmail address. G Suite allows administrators to connect their domains to the Google email servers for sending and receiving email.

In this tutorial we will setup and configure Google G Suite to route email for your domain.

To complete this tutorial you need login credentials for your Google G Suite account along with login info for your domain name service provider. This is necessary to setup the appropriate MX records.

If you haven’t already, setup a G Suite account and then login to the admin panel. 

The first step is setting up the domain and verifying ownership. Chances are you have already done this at account creation but if you need to add another domain, follow these steps:

  1. From the main menu select Account and then Domains
  2. Select add/remove domain
  3. Select Add a Domain Name or Alias
  4. Select Add another Domain and enter the name into the field

g suite add domain 3

Google will then ask you to verify ownership of the Domain. You can use any number of the options. Once verified proceed to setting up the user account.

Set up the User Account

  1. From the main control panel select Users
  2. Select Add New User
  3. Fill out the profile information. When prompted for the email address be sure to select the domain you just setup

google admin users

Once the user has been created they have full access to all the Google apps including Gmail. The user can choose to read their email in the Gmail application or opt for a third party program like Outlook or Thunderbird. The email client will need to be setup with the correct server settings to connect to Googles email exchange network. Often times these can be auto detected but sometimes need to be manually entered.

Below are the Google SMTP settings:

  • Incoming mail server: imap.gmail.com (Port 993 / SSL)
  • Outgoing mail server (SMTP): smtp.gmail.com (Port 465 / SSL)

Configure MX records for your domain

At this point your new G Suite user can send mail but cannot receive mail. This is because the domain has no MX records associated with it. MX records tell other servers where to send the mail. To setup MX records you’ll need to login to your hosting/domain providers account and configure the MX records in the DNS Settings.

The process to do this differs depending on your hosting platform. Generally, you will find these settings in the DNS/Advanced DNS section of the control panel.

Here is a snapshot of what this looks like using Namecheap:

g suite mx records name cheap

There are 5 records to create. Set the type to MX, the host to @, and the value to the values you see above and below. The numbers 1 – 10 are the priority numbers and must also be specified.

Google MX records settings

Blank or @ 3600 MX 1 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
Blank or @ 3600 MX 5 ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
Blank or @ 3600 MX 5 ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
Blank or @ 3600 MX 10 ALT3.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
Blank or @ 3600 MX 10 ALT4.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.

Troubleshooting

The most common hang up is forgetting to setup the MX records in your DNS settings. Once updated, it can take up to 48 hours to register. The most basic troubleshooting step is attempting to login to the users gmail account. If you can successfully send mail then the account is properly setup but it may take some time for the MX records to update. Your DNS settings will need to fully update before other people can send email to you.

Manually Backup and Restore WordPress To New VPS

In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to manually download your WordPress Database and content and put everything on a new server. This is the perfect tutorial if you’re changing hosting providers and want a manual approach to the process. Using Plugins can cause their own set of headaches and knowing this process will enhance your web admin skills. The process is easy and a skilled admin will have this done in 20 minutes depending on the amount of data which needs transferring.

Although this tutorial is geared towards VPS users, users with hosting providers have similar tools available to complete the job. Anyone with access to FTP credentials and a CPanel can follow this tutorial. Hosting companies worth their salt will provide a Cpanel or something comparable.

**Note After this process is complete be sure to update your DNS A records to point to the new server.**

Exporting MySQL Database

The first order of business is backing up your MySQL database. The Database holds most of the crucial information and content related to the site. On a VPS this is easily done via PhpMyAdmin. PhpMyAdmin is available through your hosting providers Cpanel. If you are running a VPS such as an Ubuntu server, PhpMyAdmin is easily installed with the following command:

apt-get install phpmyadmin

Login to the PhpMyAdmin interface:

phpmyadmin login interface
Logging in to PhpMyAdmin

From here select the database you want to export. If you’re unsure of what database to select, check the wp-config.php file at the root of your WordPress installation on the server. This file will provide you with the username, password, and database name of the site. Once exported you have an SQL file containing the entire database. This same file will be used later in the import process.

Selecting the database we want to export
Selecting the database we want to export

Select Export:

phpmyadmin export database
Exporting the database

Now you want to download the WordPress files. The WordPress files contain certain content like images and configuration files necessary for the overall functioning of WordPress. This is easily done through software such as FileZilla or WinSCP. For this example I will use WinSCP since I have SSH access to the server but this can also be done with FileZilla in the case of FTP. SSH is a much more secure method of transferring files to and from the server and recommended over FTP.

Use your remote login credentials and navigate to the root folder of the website and download all the WordPress files:

win scp download
Downloading the WordPress files off the original server with WinSCP

With the SQL database and WordPress files you can now configure the new server.

Setup New Server

First ensure the appropriate software is installed on the VPS. At the bare minimum you need the latest version of Apache, PHP, MySql, and PhpMyAdmin. Many VPS companies offer one click installations of these services but they can also be manually installed.

The LAMP Stack is easily installed on Ubuntu systems with the following commands:

apt-get install apache2

apt-get intsall mysql-server

apt-get install php7.2 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php-mysql

apt-get install phpmyadmin 

Creating The New WordPress Database

Now you must create the new database and import the the SQL file you downloaded from the old server. Keep all the credentials the same if you don’t want to edit your wp-config.php file.

Login to PhpMyAdmin with the credentials you specified during the MySQL server installation and create the database:

Create the database:

phpmyadmin create database

Import the SQL file you downloaded from the original server:

phpmyadmin import database

That’s all you need to do as far as the database is concerned.

Uploading WordPress Files To Server

Using your preferred file transfer method upload all the original files from the old server to the root www directory.

You should now be able to successfully login to WordPress on the new server.

Troubleshooting

Most common issues are troubles connecting to the database. Ensure the database credentials match those found in your wp-config.php file. Also be sure to redirect your DNS records to the new server.