Passwords need to be strong and secure but sometimes they also need to be easy to remember.
I admit I use a password tool to help with most of my passwords called Keepass and have written about it previously to manage passwords. It generates unique impossible to guess and impossible to remember passwords and manages them for me.
But sometimes you need a password that you can remember when you are not at home or that you use a lot on different devices.
The key things you need to make a password strong:
- Do have at least 8 characters in your password and use a mix of the following
- Do use upper case letters
- Do use lower case letters
- Do use numbers
- Do use symbols like !@#$*()-=+<>.,~|
- Never use anything personal about you that could be guessed or found online. eg:
- Never use part of your name or user name
- Never use a dictionary word (English or any other language)
- Never use names of family members, close friends, or pets
- Never use Birthdays, Anniversaries, Dates Of Birth
- Never use Social Security Numbers, Pin Numbers, Account Numbers
- Never use Addresses, Phone Number
But how do I remember these unusual passwords?
Here are my top 3 tips for easy to remember passwords
One: Take a word, misspell it, substitute numbers and symbols for letters.
Take any word like “apples” and misspell it to get “appples”, change some letters to uppercase to give “aPpplEs”. Add or substitute a number or two to give “aP3pple5”. Add or substitute a symbol to finally give “aP3pple5#”
Two: Think of a phrase you will remember, cut it down and substitute numbers and symbols
Think of a phrase that you remember easily but no one would guess. It can be anything at all from a song, a book, or just made up. Now, take just the first letter of each word, for example “Fred is my favourite Flintstone character of all time” would give you “FimfFcoat”. now substitute numbers and symbols in the same way as we did for tip one to give “FimfFcoat1$”
Three: Create a strong end password and add something simple and different to the start for each different website.
Use one of the methods above to get a strong password and then add something different to the start to make it unique to each site but still strong. for example if my strong ending is “aP3pple5#” then at the IBM website it wold be “IBMaP3pple5#” or “BigBlueaP3pple5#”. At the Apple store it might be “SteveJaP3pple5#”. My email might be “EmailaP3pple5#”.
If you use this last technique then have a couple of different ending passwords for things involving money vs things involving email or things involving newsletters. The point is to make sure that if one ending password was ever discovered because your email is hacked then your banking is still safe. Limit your exposure to the same types of risk.
Have fun making up new passwords,
your ‘Peoples Geek’