Strong Password and How to Easily Create It with Diceware

Why do we need a strong password? Let me explain to you. A while ago, I watched stone episode from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In that episode, the antagonist said that the 21st century is a digital book. Everyone can find everything in there. All you need is the right key to access that information. Unlike conventional key, this key has no dimension. It is not made from metal or any solid objects. Yet, it can unlock many things. It can tell your whole life story. It can leak the government’s secret operation. It can tell what you bought recently. It can tell everything. This key is your strong password.

Your strong password is your Pandora key. Inside the box, anyone can find everything about you. Every single thing about you is in the box. So, imagine if you handle the key to someone else. What will happen if that person opens that box without your permission? Everything we fear the most will happen then. This is the reason we need strong password. So that only us can open that box. Unfortunately, we still lack this awareness. Only after we lose something, we begin to cry out loud. Only after we lose that box, we remember everything. We remember the importance of making strong password. But, will it always happen? Should all of us lose our digital life first?

Nope. That should never happen. If we really care about our privacy and security on the web, let’s act today.

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How to Create Strong Password

This is our lesson today. I will show you how to create strong password. No, it is not as difficult as you think. This is perhaps, the easiest way of doing it. Anyone can do it. You don’t need to be an expert in anything. Just follow the steps below. What I will going to teach you is about Diceware?

What is it?

How can it create strong password?

Is it difficult?

Well, why don’t you find it by yourself?

But first, let me teach you about passphrase.

What is A Passphrase?

Simple version? A combination of words and characters. Unlike password, passphrase is at least twice longer. Usually, it has 20 – 40 characters. The length itself is enough to tell. Not to mention millions of combination you can use.

So, does it enough? Well, if only I can say that. Knowing this fact won’t protect you. The key point here is picking the right passphrase. That passphrase should be:

  • Long enough
  • Known only to you
  • Hard to guess by anyone
  • Easy to type accurately
  • Easy to remember

Here comes the challenge. If there’s only 10 characters, it won’t be a problem. But, 20 – 40? Won’t it be difficult?

No, not even slightly. I will tell you how to make this strong password. And, you will love it 🙂

Diceware for Your Strong Password

First, why Diceware? Why not use password generator app to pick your strong password? What makes it different?

I can give you 2 reasons. First, with Diceware, you can create strong password without using any electronic tool. That means no electronic record in any way involved during the process. In other words, no one will ever how you picked that strong password and the password itself. Using only dice and paper, the whole process actually takes place in your mind. Once you picked the password, you can burn the paper. Therefore, you’ll be the only one who knows that strong password. There won’t be any trace of any kind. There will be no clue at all about how and why you picked the strong password. Without this clue, all those cyber criminals won’t have anything to begin with.

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Second, with Diceware, you can create a long, unique, very complex combination, yet easy-to-remember password. This is not impossible with Diceware. All you need is a dice and paper. Diceware uses dice to select word sequence from a list. We call it Diceware Special List. Each word in this list has been coded with five-digit number. From 1 to 6, each digit matches with each side of the dice.

Here is a short excerpt from the list:

  • 16655 clause
  • 16656 claw
  • 16661 clay
  • 16662 clean
  • 16663 clear
  • 16664 cleat
  • 16665 cleft
  • 16666 clerk
  • 21111 cliche
  • 21112 click
  • 21113 cliff
  • 21114 climb
  • 21115 clime
  • 21116 cling
  • 21121 clink
  • 21122 clint
  • 21123 clio
  • 21124 clip
  • 21125 clive
  • 21126 cloak
  • 21131 clock
There are 7776 short words in Diceware Special List. The list also has character strings and abbreviations. Use these to make your strong password even more complex. With only 4.2 characters in average, all words are easy to remember. Even the longest one only has 6 characters. This English list is based on a longer Diceware list posted by Peter Kwangjun Suk. You can also check the alternative list here. This list contains less obscure words and Americanisms. You can also check here for other languages. By the way, the list is also available for download in PDF and PostScript.

How to Use Diceware

First, you need at least one dice. Try checking your nearest store. Many board games come with it. So, it won’t be difficult to get some. You can even get Braille dice today. If you are looking for a premium set, Amazon or Ebay can give it to you for $13. This is the first ingredient of your strong password.

Before we proceed, let me remind you this. Use only dice and paper. Do not use any electronic stuff.

Once set, follow these steps.

  1. Click here to download Diceware list. Alternative list is available here. Then, return to this page.
  2. Now, decide the amount of words. This is the second ingredient of your strong password. How many of them you want in your passphrase? Six words will give you standard security. For wireless security, GPG< and file encryption, we recommend 7 words. While 9 words will help you secure your BitCoin, whole-disk encryption, and other high-value uses.
  3. Take the dice(s) and roll them. Make as many 5-digit groups as you need. Here is an example. Let’s assume, I want 9 words in my passphrase. If each Diceware word is encoded with 5 numbers, then I need to roll the dice 5 x 9 times or 45 times. That’s if I use single dice. However, if I use 5 dices at once, I only need to roll them 9 times.
  4. Write down the results on a paper. If you use multiple dices, read the results from left to right. Then separate them in groups of five.
  5. Now, look at the Diceware list. Find the match for each 5-digit group you have. I’ll give you an example shortly.
  6. When you’re done, those words are your passphrase. Memorize these words.
  7. Take the paper and burn it to ashes. Leave no trace behind.
  8. Done!


Anne wants a 6-word passphrase. Now, we want to make sure she got her strong password. For this, she needs to roll a single dice 30 times. Or, she can roll 5 dices at once for 6 times.

Suppose the results are as follows:

1, 6, 6, 6, 5, 1, 5, 6, 5, 3, 5, 6, 3, 2, 2, 3, 5, 6, 1, 6, 6, 5, 2, 2, 4, 6, 4, 3, 2, and 6.

Next, she put the numbers in 5-digit groups. The results are as follows:

 1 6 6 6 5 
 1 5 6 5 3 
 5 6 3 2 2 
 3 5 6 1 6
 6 5 2 2 4 
 6 4 3 2 6

Then, she matched the sequence with Diceware list. She came with these results:

 1 6 6 6 5 cleft
 1 5 6 5 3 cam
 5 6 3 2 2 synod
 3 5 6 1 6 lacy
 6 5 2 2 4 yr
 6 4 3 2 6 wok

Based on this, her password would be:

 cleft cam synod lacy yr wok

Bonus Tips

  • Make sure you are alone while doing this. Close the door and all curtains.
  • Place the paper on a hard surface. Don’t write down the numbers on a pad of paper. It will leave a mark on numbers you wrote.
  • Burn the paper immediately after you got the strong password. Pulverize the ashes. Or you can flush them down the toilet.
  • Keep the copy in a safe place. But, ONLY FOR FILE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD. If you somehow lose the original, you can use the copy. It is better than losing your whole disk.
  • Advance your strong password with special character. Here is how to do it: Roll one dice to get the word. Roll again to get the letter. Roll two times again to get extra character from this table:
  •      Third roll   
        1 2 3 4 5 6
    F 1 ~ ! # $ % ^
    o 2 & * ( ) - =
    u 3 + [ ] \ { }
    r 4 : ; " ' < >
    t 5 ? / 0 1 2 3
    h 6 4 5 6 7 8 9

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