How to Make Strong Passwords…That You CAN Remember!

padlocks Online security can be improved at no cost, by you, today. Yes! Before you spend thousands on expensive site security software programs, or high priced cyber security software, make your Passwords strong, secure and unbreakable. 

We all use Passwords, we all need Passwords, and most of us know we should be doing things differently – doing things better.  But most of us don’t.  If you mention Passwords, most people Groan.  Why?

Because we all know what the problem is: The big problem that we all face is HOW TO REMEMBER impossibly long and complex Passwords that have letters, numbers, characters etc etc.  It seems to be all too difficult.

But…Good News friends!  Not any more!  I’ve discovered a really cool way to make mega-strength Passwords that you CAN remember!

Not just one, but 4…or 6..or even 10!  Yes!  There are a couple of tricks that make this possible – even easy. This article shows you how to foil even the most dedicated hacker, and not send you crazy trying to remember Passwords that any normal person will forget in 5 minutes.

Disclaimer: For the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume we are all normal.

Update: Since changing my Password to a super long, super-secure Password, WordPress kept telling me, “We see that you are using an automatically generated Password – would you like to change it to a Password that you can remember?”  I think that’s pretty funny! 

My new password even fooled WordPress!  I declined the offer, because….that super long, super-secure Password is one that I CAN remember! So there!  It’s nice that they noticed and tried to be helpful though.

Your Login User Name is Your First Line of Website Security Defense.

Your First Line of Online Security is to change your Login Username from ‘Admin’ to something else – anything else will be more secure than using Admin!  See Login Security: How to Change Your Username.

The aim of website security is to protect your blog by forcing those web attack Hackers to find easier targets than you (or me) by having a really secure, double locked Front Door i.e. a secure Username AND a secure Password. See: How To Change My WordPress Password.

We all want to protect our precious websites – or any other Account you have online that you need to protect from security threats such as intruders, hackers, identity thieves, or low-down scammers.

Disclaimer: there is probably no Password that is guaranteed 100% unbreakable, un-hackable, and secure.  However, it’s easy to think up secure Passwords that you can remember, that are estimated to take 12,000 years (and more) to crack.  What? Yes!

Think you have a secure Password?  I thought my Passwords were ‘secure enough’.  Well, it turns out a Hacker could crack my old ‘secure’ Passwords in about 10 minutes, and that was my ‘most secure’ Password.  Aaaahhh!

Web Security: Check the Online Security Of Your Internet Passwords…Now!

Use this nifty website Password Checker to test your current Passwords: I bet your ‘secure’ Passwords were not so secure after all.  I know mine weren’t.

How Secure Is My Password?

Common Password Mistakes

  1. Do not use ‘Password’, or ‘1234’ or ‘asdf’ (letters next to each other on the keyboard) or your dog’s name, or your kid’s name…. or any other word, name or date in any combination, that is associated with you in any way whatsoever.
  2. If you can find the word(s) in the dictionary, in any language, it is not a secure Password.
  3. Easily breakable, low security Passwords are: Too short (maybe the most important factor), use only letters, use no capitals, use no numbers, or any symbols – sorry, if you do any of the above, your secure internet Password is not secure.
  4. Even adding a random number or capital letter will take a hacker maybe only a few minutes longer to break in.
  5. Remember you are not trying to beat a human – hackers use software programs to hack your ‘secure’ Password, so you have to be devious, even cunning….yes, I like that idea!
  6. Your Password(s) have to be a total mystery to everyone except YOU.
  7. And of course, never share your passwords with anyone.

Even if you know you can trust someone with your Password, they may not be as security conscious as you are.  You might only discover this when it’s too late! Never share your very secure Passwords!

Internet Security Password Basics:

It makes sense to have different Passwords for Different Security levels of Online Usage.  This means that even if your least secure Password is hacked, your other more important passwords are still safe.

Level 1. Use your most secure Password(s) on any online account(s) that involves your money or personal identity information e.g. Online bank accounts, credit cards, Paypal, Clickbank, etc.

Level 2. Have a different very secure Password for Online accounts that include your own valuable information, data, personal identity information e.g. your blog, your website, your computer, your Web Host, your Domain Registrar, your cpanel etc.

Level 3. Have a different Password (a third Password) to use for all your online accounts and logins that do not really need to be secure e.g. other people’s forums, other people’s websites where you Register or Subscribe etc.

Tip: Using the same Password for all these don’t-need-to-be-secure Logins makes it easier to remember for most website Login requirements, and everyday internet usage.

Even if someone hacks this Password, or, a web site where you’ve use it does not keep your Password ‘safe’, it won’t matter because this password is not either one of your very secure Passwords.

Warning: Do not write and store your very secure Passwords on any file or folder in your Computer.  Especially if your Computer login and Password is not very secure, or if other people have access on your same network or computer.

Tip: If you must write your very secure Passwords down, hide them within some written text in an old-fashioned paper notebook (remember them?).  And don’t put this notebook in your office drawer at work – that is not a secure place for your most secure passwords..

I’ve read somewhere online recently that you should write them down and put them in your wallet. But wait…What happens when your wallet gets stolen?  The thief has you credit cards AND you passwords!  Nice!  Don’t do it.

How To Make Very Secure Passwords

  1. At least 8 characters, preferably more – a lot more.
  2. A random mix of letters, numbers, lower case and upper case letters, and special characters.

Well, we all know that, and that sounds easy…but, we all know that the real crunch Problem is: “How do I remember my very secure, very long, very jumbled up Passwords???”

Don’t despair, friends! I have news for you – it doesn’t have to be difficult at all – with a few handy tricks and tips.

How To Make Very Secure Passwords – That You Can Remember

My favorite method is to use acronyms.  Why?  Because you can make really long Passwords that are also very easy to remember.  How?  [There is an example further below]  And as you will see below, in the world on secure Passwords….size really does matter.

1.  Think up a phrase that has some sort of ‘meaning’ to you personally, and that you will be able to remember.

2. Make your phrase into an Acronym by taking the first letter of each word that makes up this phrase, and type them out in a line.

3.  Add in 2 numbers at a couple of places in between these letters. You can decide to always use 2 (or 3) numbers that you use as ‘your’ numbers, in all your passwords.

Your passwords are different because they use different phrases/acronyms, so it doesn’t matter if you use the same numbers in all of them – which makes them easier to remember.

Bonus Tip: One handy trick, is to add the number that a letter has in the alphabet either before or after the letter in your acronym phrase password e.g b=2, c=3 etc.  The main thing is to add a couple of numbers, and use numbers you can remember, or work out.

5.  You can make the position of your added number in the acronym easier to remember, by always adding the same numbers, and always in the same position e.g. always add the numbers after the third and seventh letter, and then use that placement position in all your Passwords that use different phrases, and therefore different acronyms.

An Example of Creating a Strong & Secure Password

Let’s try An Example Using an Acronym and then add all the ‘recommended’ requirements to make a super strong Password. This example is a demo only – you probably would not have to use all of these recommendations below to make a very secure password.

Example: Using the phrase: ‘I like to eat thin crust meat lovers pizza on Friday nights’, the acronym = iltetcmlpofn.  That’s already 12 characters long!

According to the How Secure Is My Website that Password would take 546 years to hack. But we can do better than that, can’t we? Smile

Now add your ‘favorite’ chosen numbers: e.g. ilt3etcm7lpofn – in this example, I’ve added the number that the letter is in this sequence i.e. 3 after the third letter, and 7 after the seventh letter in the sequence.

Woaah!…. 48 thousand years to crack that one! That’s just an acronym and 2 numbers.

Another Tip with Numbers: How about:  ilte5tcmlpof6n – that is using the letter’s number in the alphabet: e = 5 and f = 6. It so happens that in that acronym, the fifth letter of the acronym is also the fifth letter of the alphabet.  That makes it extra cheesy….sorry!… extra easy to remember.

And then you can remember the 6 because it is the next letter in the alphabet (f) – which makes it also the next number when counting.  Easy to remember? Yes!

6. Make some of the letters Upper Case: iltE5tcmlpoF6n – you can see I have capitalized the letters in front of the number. That makes it easy to remember.

How secure do you think this one is?   He he…98 million years for that one!

This is getting ridiculous. I doubt any hacker could crack that password, but just to make sure, and for this example demo:

7.  Add a character or two: iltE5^tcmlpoF6#n – that should be very, very, very secure. What do you reckon???  Wow! 12 trillion years to hack that one. 

See how easy it is?   And to be honest, you don’t really need to have a Password that takes 12 trillion years to crack – 5 – 6 thousand years would probably do… at a pinch. Smile

Note: Please remember that I’m demonstrating all the different tricks with this password example. In real life you would not need to do ALL the above to get a super-strength password..

Here’s A Great Way to Make Lots of Strong Words… And Remember Them All!

This trick to this method is to use the same STEM password for all of your strong passwords.  Then you add a + sign (or any other character you can remember easily) and add a few extra letters…. letters that identifies each account differently – and that you can remember. 

This method is extra good because you are really only have to remember the one main Password. And if you pick good identifiers for you add-on letters, they are easy to remember too.

For example, you could use the acronym of a phrase (maybe 10- 12 characters) –  then add an extra character (the +sign, or some other character from the top row of your keyboard) plus maybe 4 more identifier letters.

You end up with xxxxxxxxxxxx+xxxx = 17 characters in total!  And with this method, you only have to remember the one phrase/acronym, plus the added extra account identifying letters on the end.

I just tested 12 random letters, plus a + sign, plus 4 more random letters: want to guess how strong that one is??….. 849 Billion years to crack!.  YES!

You now have one different strong password for each and every website and account you need to protect.

Another Secure Online Password Idea You Can Use

  1. Take a couple of words you can remember, add them together and then spell them backwards.
  2. For example: tennis+breakfast =  sinnet+tsafkaerb – you can leave the add sign in for extra security if you like. That would take 500 million years to crack.
  3. You can see that using words spelled backwards is not as easy to remember as an acronym, but they could be worked out.
  4. Of course you could add in some capitals and numbers to increase password strength but, for me anyway, the backwards spelled words are hard to remember, even on their own.

Bonus Tip: being a suspicious/cautious kind of a person when it comes to Website security, for my own Secure Passwords, I decided not to use any Password that I had already tested in that online Password checker, How Secure Is My Password…because just entering a Password into that data base already makes the Password not-secure, doesn’t it?

I don’t know if that is true or not, but it seems logical to me.

That should do it!  Remember that most Hackers are looking for easy targets, not trying to hack passed the Pentagon Security Password or Fort Nox security – so don’t make it easy for Hackers to trash your site or bank balance, by using low security online passwords!

Make your secure accounts more hacker-proof than everyone else’s, and you should be safe.

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How to Make Strong Passwords…That You CAN Remember! — 4 Comments

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