So how do you make strong, easy to remember passwords?
With all the passwords we need today are you still trying to remember each one?
Are you writing them down?
Or have you just succumbed and just use the same password over and over again?
These techniques have inherent risks and make things harder than it should be.
There is a much better way to manage your passwords. Would you like to create unique passwords you will never forget?
How? Use a method!
With this method approach you will be able to solve your password woes.
Most modern systems ask for a password containing the following:
- 8+ characters
- upper and lower case
- special characters, punctuation or symbols
The longer the password the better. For this exercise we'll use 12 characters which will be our [
constant] (4) our [
variable] (4) and our [
Each part could be longer or you can add another unique constant and it will be an even stronger password.
First thing is to pick a sentence that you like and we'll convert it to our constant, which will become the only hard part you need to remember.
For example: 'my pretty cat tom'
We'll convert that to [
MpcT] by using the first characters and using capitals.
Now you have a new phrase, that is not in the dirctionary, not an acronym and not an existing phrase. Keep trying sentences till you get a phrase that conforms to these three criteria. Once you found it, you'll be done with your constant.
Contrive a variable. This part is what makes each password unique so that you don't end up using the same one on various places/websites.
Consider the site that you are visiting, or the system you are using. Typically they each have their own name or unique identifier. For our method, we'll use every second character of of the website we are creating a password for, this will make up the variable part.
For example: wildeye.com.au
We'll end up with [
wlee]. Again, that is not in the dictionary, not an acronym and not an existing phrase. This part can be tricky as some website names will have parts that are normal words. That is why we use every second character.
So far we still only have to remember 'my pretty cat tom' to make up a strong and unique password.
Numbers, special characters and punctuation. Don't pick your b-day, no seriously don't.
Here we are looking for at least 2 numbers and 2 of the 'other' characters.
Whatever you do, make sure the punctuation/special characters are available on standard keyboards that you will be using. So the top row of numbers and their 'Shift' alternates are a good place to start.
You should already have numbers that are meaningful to you. Let's use [
14] (If you're a Cats supporter). It's not a repeat and it's not a sequence. For the ‘other’ characters, let’s use [
@] and [
Now we have all the parts we need and we are ready to assemble the password. This assembly is the 'method' you'll remember and apply to create all your strong passwords in the future.
Here is a example assembly method. You can swap things around, but make sure numbers are split up and phrases are split up as well.
[number1] [special1] [constant] [number2] [special2] [variable]
will give you:
There you have it! A strong unique password covering all the requirements. Plus you will not find it in a dictionary and it appears totally random. And all you did was remember 'my pretty cat tom' and your method.
That is the basic concept of making easy to remember strong passwords. You can now adapt the assembly sequence to something you like or prefer and straight away the passwords from the same three parts above will be completely different.
Important things to remember with passwords:
- NEVER email passwords
- Avoid saving them on your computer
- Don't use dictionary words
- Only enter them on websites where you typed the url or used a bookmark and the website is using SLL (HTTPS connection) and you can verify the site identity on the SLL certificate