How to Create a Strong Password

keysCreating a good password is very simple: make it long.

Make your good password better by adding special characters !@#$% etc. Even more, add a mix of upper and lower case letters to your password.  A complete password will also have one or more numbers.

A good practice is to have a unique password for each of your online accounts.

How to remember all the passwords

Remember all your passwords by creating a formula that you can apply to each password.  For example, a password might consist of three distinct words.  The first word could be the place or website name “askjuan.net”.  The second word might be the initials of all your kids and the year they were born: K81J92A01. And the third word could be the function of the website: “email”.  Add a little spice by inserting special characters in between: “#^$”

The password would look something like: askjuan#K1J2A$1email

Variations of this password would be amazon#K1J2$books, ffederal#K1J2$savings, etc. You can also vary the formula by starting or ending with #K1J2$.

The trick is to stick to your formula.

Should you write down your passwords?

Sure.  Why not? But if you make a good formula, you might not ever need to write them down. On the other hand if you do feel like you have to write them down.  You should also devise a system.  Such as making a list of passwords on one notepad and a corresponding list of websites, or functions in another notepad.  Separate the two geographically (one pad in the office, and the other in the kitchen) so it is not obvious where each password belongs to.

Additional tips:

One way of remembering by writing down the passwords is to use a “key” pattern to use as a prefix for all the passwords. Then write down the key at the top of the paper followed by the suffixes for each password:

F!uffy93 = prefix (I will always remember my dog Fluffy that we had in 1993)

bank1 = Wells&Fargo (append these to my prefix.  Can you guess which website this belongs to? I know you can.)

bank2 = First&Federal

online email = Yahoo&Mail

etc.

The actual password for each of these places would be: “F!uffy93Wells&Fargo” and “F!uffy93First&Federal”

My inclination is that if you pick a good pattern that you can always remember, you will always remember the passwords even if you don’t write them down.

 

2 Replies to “How to Create a Strong Password”

  1. Another trick I learned from a beloved family member is to substitute numbers and symbols if the website allows those symbols. For example, askjuan would translate to @skju@n. Angeles would be @nge!es. Yahoo translates as y@h00. A friend of mine used the first letter of a favorite Bible verse fgs<3twJ3l6.

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