We all need to use a significant number of passwords in everyday life. Here are some useful principles for creating passwords that are both safe and possible to remember.

In general passwords need to be made up of more than one word – with some cryptic characters mixed with long phrases.

Ending up with passwords such as “Mi$un’sBrthd8iz12124” or maybe “F10wer5kyCake“.

Yes I know, no one will be able to remember that – and that is precisely the point.

And it would take a computer 4 sextillion years to crack that first one, according to How Secure Is My Password? Which is pretty good going.

And now let’s get to the magic part – building these in ways we won’t forget. Both of these passwords were built according to two different patterns that will make it fairly easy for you to remember what they are:

Sentences

  • Create a sentence from an easy-to-remember piece of information that is personal to you. For example, “My son’s birthday is 12 December, 2004”. Using that phrase as your guide, you might use Msbi12/Dec4 for your password
  • Substitute numbers, symbols, and misspellings for letters or words in an easy-to-remember phrase. For example, “My son’s birthday is 12 December, 2004” could become “Mi$un’sBrthd8iz12124”
  • Alternatively, relate your password to a favorite hobby or sport. For example, I love to play badminton could become “ILuv2PlayB@dm1nt()n”

Random words

  • Take multiple random words with no logical or grammatical connection but that have some meaning to you and place them behind each other. For example: “FlowerSkyCake”
  • Replace letters with numbers or special characters or add additional characters: “F10wer5kyCake!”

I know these tips will not make all of the pain that comes with using strong passwords go away. But they do provide some significant ease.

In a future communication, we will talk to you about password management tools.  

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