How to Create a Strong Password that You Can Easily Remember

Strong passwords are your first line of defense against scammers and hackers.
Strong passwords are your first line of defense against scammers and hackers.

With all of the hacking incidents and security breaches that have hit the news lately, it got me thinking about passwords and internet security. I’m sure everyone here knows the importance of having a strong password, but the security breaches still seem to happen too often for comfort. Most hacking incidents occur when a hacker deciphers a weak password. Passwords that are short or use common words, formatting, and key sequences are the easiest to penetrate.

I’ve personally known some very computer literate individuals that were able to expose the master passwords of some very large computer networks (they will remain unnamed). Luckily in these cases, my tech savvy friends disclosed this security vulnerability to the head of IT to have the problem corrected. Do you know what the funny part is? The passwords were actually guessed or computed in less than 10 tries. This is why having a strong password is so important.

Trust me; I know how tough it is to remember 100’s of long passwords for every Internet Account you have. This is where so many people make their mistake. Their biggest issue with passwords is that the strongest ones are also the hardest ones to remember, especially if they are only used periodically. Ironically, a strong password often keeps the rightful user out because it is forgotten so easily.

So here I have created a list of tips that you can use to create strong and secure passwords that are also easy to remember.

Characteristics of Strong Passwords

Does not contain username information (or any names for that matter)

Has a minimum length of 8 characters

Has at least a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols

Password Creation Method 1:

Start with a sentence or phrase that you love and can easily remember. Use the first or second letters of each word to create a row of letters. Next, make the first three letters in the sequence of uppercase, add a number at the end, and don’t forget the punctuation. The result is that you have a password that is very difficult to guess and has the appearance of being a random jumble of letters. Moreover, you will actually be able to easily remember it! And to help you with multiple passwords, you can use the same phrase or sentence, but just use a different letter from each word. Here is an example:

Start with a Phrase: There are witches in the air!

Create a row of letters using the 1st or 2nd letter from each word: tawita

Capitalize the first 3 letters: TAWita

Add an easy to remember number. I will use 15 in this example because I am using the first (1) letter of each of five (5) words: TAWita15

Now punctuate that password: TAWita15!

And there you have it, a strong password that is also easy to remember and hard to decipher.

A Trapezoid!
A Trapezoid! | Source

Password Creation Method 2:

If sentences and phrases are not your cup of tea, perhaps you would do better with a geometric pattern. To do this you will need to pick a favorite shape and a location on your keyboard. “Draw” that shape by pressing the keys that form it. After you have made the motion, hold the SHIFT key and repeat the pattern. I wouldn’t recommend choosing a triangular shape because the resulting password will only be six characters long. Also, you should perform this geometric pattern in a location on the keyboard that would result in the password have numbers and symbols as well as letters in it. Here is an example (use the picture at right for reference):

Pick a shape: I like trapezoids

Locate the shape: The top left corner will be the number 5

Make one clockwise trip around the shape: 56ytr

Make another trip around while holding the SHIFT key: 56ytr%^YTR

And there you have it, a strong password that is also easy to remember and hard to decipher.

Other Methods:

There are a multitude of other methods you can use to create secure passwords, but I don’t think that they are as easy to remember or use as the previous methods I have posted.

  1. Use a password manager to manage all your passwords. This way you only have to remember one master password. However, this is akin to the old saying of “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
  2. Word mixing. Choose 2 or three favorite words, put them in alphabetical order, alternate the letters, capitalize the first half, and punctuate the end. Example: Car Dog Hat becomes CDHAoargt!
  3. Create an Image based password using http://www.Pixelock.com

Additional Tips for Creating Strong Passwords:

  • Never use words that can be found in a dictionary as a password.
  • Never use birthdays or social security numbers as numbers in a password.
  • Never use word abbreviations, slang, or backwards spellings of words in a password.
  • Never use simple key sequences such as: 12345678, abcdefg, or asdfgh.
  • Change your password often.
  • Never use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Check the strength of your password using http://www.passwordmeter.com/

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Comments 8 comments

Larry Fields profile image

Larry Fields 5 years ago from Northern California

I remember reading that some Trekkies like to use the serial number of the starship Enterprise as a password, and that serious hackers are well aware of that proclivity. :-)


CWanamaker profile image

CWanamaker 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Haha, that's funny. So many people I know use their birthdays and kids names....


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

Cool tips! At last someone with practical advice on strong passwords that can be easily remembered.


CWanamaker profile image

CWanamaker 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks, I hope someone uses these techniques or gets inspired to use another one.


Bud Gallant profile image

Bud Gallant 5 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Very good advice. I used to have a hell of a time with passwords... Mostly what ended up happening is I would use 1 password for dozens of sites, which isn't a very good practice. I always made sure my email and bank passwords were different, though.

Eventually I started using LastPass, and I've found it to be very reliable and dependable. It makes generating completely random passwords very easy, and I just have to remember the master password. There's probably a few services like this out there, but I like this one because it's completely free, has a lot of features and your master password is encrypted, and even the company cannot access it, so it seems very secure.

Really enjoyed this hub. Having secure passwords is something which should be important to everybody. It's very common these days to see entire lists of thousands of users accounts get posted online for people to do whatever they want with (Usually from phishing).

I like the pattern idea. That's a new concept to me and I'm sure many people will prefer that.


CWanamaker profile image

CWanamaker 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Bud Gallant - T have heard lots of good things about lastpass. For some people it works great. I don't like the idea of putting all my eggs in one basket so to speak. But as my presence on the Internet grows, I may have to resort to something like that. Right now I have to remember about 80 logins and passwords. It's getting tough to recall the ones that I rarely use. I use other methods to help me remember those for now.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Good tips--great tips, actually.

I have a secret way to choose passwords, but of course, I can't reveal it. :)

Mnemonic clueing for making passwords could be helpful, as well as Spoonerisms.


CWanamaker profile image

CWanamaker 5 years ago from Arizona Author

@RTalloni - Thanks! Yeah I saved some other methods for remember passwords for myself as well.

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