How to make strong passwords you can remember
30th of November, 2015
Picture this: you are a newly graduated student of a post secondary institution, you’ve spent countless hours preparing, studying, socializing, building networks and friendships. Now you sit in front of your computer, graduated, with a paper in hand saying you’re competent enough to pursue and do something. Why can’t I remember my password?
A secure, and easy to remember (supposedly) password is supposed to be exactly that—easy, and hard for others to guess.
It seems like everywhere we look, we are inputting new pins or are required to update or change passwords for the millions of job banks, social sites, online banking, and ATM Pins we interact with on a regular basis. So the real question here is, how do you decide on what your new password will be, and how will you remember it?
Don’t Use the Same Password for EVERYTHING
This point cannot be reiterated enough: when you create a password that follows the characteristics required and a system breach– or something out of the ordinary– occurs compromising your password, you risk not only your password but your identity and everything attached to the single password you’ve been using. For example, might you remember when Home Depot was hacked and personal information was compromised? For threats this severe, something a simple as different passwords can prevent your credit card from being compromised on Ebay or the Google play store, as well as your Online banking profile and investments.
The 100 Site Test: Basewords
You don’t have to remember 100 different passwords to all the different websites you use when you use the Baseword Approach. But first, remember the 100 site test looks at a few different categories that can change throughout every website you will generally encounter.
A lowercase character
An uppercase character
A number (0-9)
A special character (!@#$%)
At least 8 characters long
The Baseword Approach is as simple as picking a sample base word and expanding from there, with one of the above rules listed. For example the same word could be “sample” no rules, or with any of the rules listed “Sample”, “$ample”, “S@mple12” etc. Another approach could be your baseword, followed by the first two vowels and consonants of your service provider, so for Yahoo, “SAMPLEYHAO”, and your password for eBay would be “SAMPLEBYEA.”
An even simpler option would be initials, followed by favorite number(s), followed by the first three letters of the service provider. For example EMJ32AMA for Amazon using the foundation of Earvin Magic Johnson 32. Remember to be obscure; the purpose is to throw off potential threats, while allowing you to remember the password.
Password generation is easy if you follow some of these steps, but remember a good rule of thumb in security and password generation is to try to follow the above guidelines.
About Jitesh Chauhan
A student of life with a passion for people, communication, and privacy.