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How to Choose Safe, Easy Passwords

Updated on August 13, 2015
PAINTDRIPS profile image

Today you need a few life hacks just to cut through the jungle of information and distractions. Denise has a few that help her cope.

Password?

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Security

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Lifehacks

What was that Internet Password?

With the computer and Internet banking and shopping becoming more and more the norm, you will be presented more often with having to choose a password. It seems even the store shopping sites require one. It’s hard enough choosing a password but now you have to make it longer and stronger.

I have seen it dozens of times: don’t use your name as a password. Don’t use your birthday, or your phone number. Use different passwords for different sites. Use Capitals, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t write passwords down where they can be easily found and hacked. But until now I haven’t seen anyone give suggestions on how to do that. Passwords are just too hard to remember especially when they keep asking for them to be longer than just 4 letters. Not to mention the fact that they are constantly asking you to update them, change them or make them longer and stronger. Well, here are some helpful suggestions on keeping your passwords strong, unhackable and memorable.

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Sentence

Create a sentence that you can remember. Then take the first letter of each word to give you capitals, numbers and punctuation.

Examples would be:

A Memorable Sentence

Sentence
Password
My house is at 1234 Acorn Road+
Mhi@1234AR+
Who is your #1 favorite super hero?
Wiy#1fsh?
What is the one thing you did you wish you didn’t?
Wit1tydywyd?

Music is easy to remember.

Lyrics or Poem

Use a line of music lyrics or a poem you love. Again take the first letter of each word to give you capitals, numbers and punctuation. If you need a number add one on the end.

Examples would be:

Lyrics

Lyrics
Password
The whole universe was in a hot dense state-1
Twuwiahds-1
Yesterday, when I was young, The taste of life was sweet, As rain upon my tongue
YwIwyTtolwsArumt
Ring Christmas bells, Merrily ring, Tell all the world, Jesus is King!
RCb,Mr,Tatw,JiK!
I learned the truth at 17 that love was meant for beauty queens!
Iltt@17tlwmfbq!

Passwords make me tired.

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Memorable Passwords Rating

5 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of Memorable Passwords

Hints

If you need to change or update your password, you can do that by adding a number or letter to the end. Or add another word in the sentence.

To keep your passwords more secure you should never use the same password for everything. Use one password for banking, one for emails and another one for business. I like to have a separate one for social media also.

Create a special memorable one for emails:

Sentence
Password
I’ve had my email address since 2009+
I’vhmeas2009+
When I was 13, we moved to California!
WIw13wmtC!
My address is 1234 Somewhere Street, Anytown!
Mai1234SSA!

Your Name

Do you use your name or nickname as your password?

See results

Create special memorable ones for your banking sites or bill paying sites:

Sentence
Password
That he may have to give to him that needeth. Eph 4:28
ThmhtgthtnE4:28
Or shorten it to “give to him that needeth. Eph 4:28”
gthtnE4:28
God has given you treasure in your sacks. Gen 43:23
GhgytiysG43:23
My 401K is now a 201K?
M401Kina201K?

Create a special one for all other sites like shopping sites:

Sentence
Password
Shopping for shoes makes my day 2015!
Sfsmmd2015!
Where have all the good size 8 shoes gone?
Whatgs8sg?
Help me find that perfect 50s hat here?
Hmftp50shh?
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Backwards

With these sentences you can feel free to write them down with giving away that they are passwords. The average person won’t know it’s a code. If you feel that even that may be risky, use the sentence backwards for your password.

Examples Backwards

Sentence
Password
I’ve had my email address since 2009+
2009+saemhI’v
When I was 13, we moved to California!
!Ctmw13wIW
My address is 1234 Somewhere Street, Anytown!
ASS1234iaM!
You get the idea.

More helpful hints

These are just a few simple ways to keep your passwords long enough to be secure and memorable enough to no have to keep getting a new one because you cannot remember it.

Another suggestion for people like me who can’t really trust their memory, is to write them down in a secure location. It should be a place that won’t be affected if your computer should crash and that won’t be the first place people look who are robbing you. I like to email a copy to myself and save it in a folder so that it is always with my email. Another copy I email to my Kindle. A third copy I keep with my address book in a personal journal. If anything should happen to me (God forbid) and I was not able to give my husband the passwords, he would still be able to access the bank account and email accounts by finding where I have saved them. Those things I have shared with him but he doesn’t trust his memory either.

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Keyword Method

Another method a little less technical but also easy for the memory challenged to retain is the “keyword” password. Everyone has a word that sticks with them that they will always remember. For me it’s Artist, for someone else it may be MerryGoRound or FerrisWheel or Carrousel or maybe even Bagel. (I don’t know why I’m thinking of round things today!) Whatever it is, choose a word and add things to it for each of the different categories in your web address list.

For instance, a password for Twitter would look like this: CarrouselTwitter2015

A password for Facebook would be: Carrousel2015Facebook

These give you the capitals, numbers and lower case you need to strong passwords.

Whatever you do, don’t use your name or your children’s names as the keyword. It would be too easy for hackers to figure out and gain access.

The best bet is to change your passwords periodically, rotating between several favorites so that you are always able to remember them and you are still secure.

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Password Comments Wanted

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      MG Seltzer,

      Thank you. I really appreciate that. It's something I struggle with from time to time so I thought others might too.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • MG Seltzer profile image

      MG Seltzer 

      3 years ago from South Portland, Maine

      Good topic!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Tim, that is helpful. However I still stand by my suggestions in this hub to use sentences to mix up the letters and numbers to make that even stronger. Thanks for commenting.

    • Tim Bader profile image

      Tim Bader 

      3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Hi @poetryman6969 and @Paintdrips I just thought I should comment on your idea re using foreign language.

      Sorry to rain on your parade, but a dictionary attack simply uses a file of text (the potential passwords that form the "dictionary") to check the real passwords against.

      It doesn't matter what language those passwords are in, and increasingly, the hackers are using lists of passwords that have been stolen from sites in the real world (so may already include foreign words).

      There is therefore no guarantee that using a non-English word will make things more secure.

      However, combining different words together, with numbers and characters will increase the length of the password and hopefully make it less likely to be found in such an attack.

      Hope that helps!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Poetryman, that is genius! Thanks for the tip, or should I say gracias! Mercy! Se bon! You are the best.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      3 years ago

      Voted up because I think you are helping the internet be more secure. For some folks, who know foreign languages, something known only in a foreign language could be good. As I understand, for an English speaking website, when they use what they call a dictionary attack to try to guess your password, they use an English dictionary. If you mixed a foreign language with English, nobody in their right mind would be able to figure it out except you. Who uses two or more languages simultaneously in a dictionary attack?

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Examiner, that's good. My husband still keeps his on his computer in a Word file. I keep telling him that if his computer crashed he would loose all his passwords, but he still can't think of a better place. Oh well. Some people do it the way they want and there is not changing them. Thanks for visiting.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      3 years ago

      This was another helpful and useful way of keeping track of our passwords. I have always just written them down in a special notebook - anonymously, not writing what they are for. After a few times I usually have them memorized. I do not keep any on my computer after reading in many places not to do that. With what hackers do these days... Anyway, I enjoyed reading your Hub and gave it a thumbs up, shared it and pinned it.

      Kevin

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      I would love the honor of hanging out with you. I am a natural brunette too but I think I have a touch of the "old-timers" and just can't trust my memory anymore. Thanks for the kind words and the visit.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Well Denise....Thank you. You're right and this is all quite interesting and helpful. I'm sure it is appreciated by your readers.....and I would love to have the perfect system, for ANYTHING! LOL

      However, when it comes to passwords, 95% of my usage has the SAME one. I came to a very realistic conclusion, suited to this old, absent-minded woman. I really have no choice. Trust me, I've tried everything.

      If I had a "list"(which is a wonderful plan and what most people do) I would HAVE to hang it quite visibly in front of my face. So, what's the use?

      Fortunately I have enough security on my computer to rival the U.S. Mint. I offer no excuses. It is what it is. For a natural brunette, I can be very blonde. I am also directionally dysfunctional & extremely clumsy, BTW. It requires a whole lot of love to hang out with me! :)

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Thanks so much, Shyron. I really appreciate the kuddos.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Denise, I hate passwords! I know that they are all necessary but I have a computer that has the thumb recognition to open it but I still need passwords, and still hackers can still get and it is very easy for them.

      I keep mine in a little book and my son knows where it is. Hubby hates my computer and does not even know how to turn it on.

      This is a very useful hub and I will keep it bookmarked to read when I need suggestions on Passwords.

      Voted up, UAI and shared

      Blessings and Hugs

      Shyron

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Sandra, thank you. I hope they help.

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 

      3 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Unfortunately I have so many I can't recall all of them. Your ideas are wonderful and will give them a try. Great hub

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Catherine, I agree with you... and you probably need a password to set it up. Haha. There has to be a joke in there somewhere.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I too keep a list of passwords in a secure place (not on the computer where hackers could find it). My heirs know where it is.

      There are various services that an store your passwords. I've never followed up because I am uncomfortable about trusting them and it would take too long to set it up.

    • Tim Bader profile image

      Tim Bader 

      3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      You're welcome, Denise.

      Blessings to you also!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Thanks so much for the info, Tim. Maybe some reader will want to utilize it.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Tim Bader profile image

      Tim Bader 

      3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Hi @Paintdrips, Lastpass is a Freemium product:

      The program is completely free to use, and some more advanced options (such as a mobile app) are part of the pro subscription.

      You can certainly use it for free on all your PCs/Macs/desktop/laptops (I did for well over a year), but the subscription is only $12 per year, so I started paying for it a couple of years ago - worth its weight in gold, IMO! :)

      You can find it at Lastpass.com

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Pennyforyourthots, thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      Pennyforyourthots 

      3 years ago

      Very helpful hub with a lot of good pointers. Thanks for sharing this information. I'll be sure to consider it with my next password. I usually use words or numbers that are special to me and special characters if they are allowed.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Tim, is the password manager program expensive? I never heard of it before. But it is certainly timely. Still I think I will stay with my system for a little while longer. Thanks for commenting.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Useful tips on choosing passwords. You made the process easy and helpful.

    • Tim Bader profile image

      Tim Bader 

      3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      There's some really good tips here, on an important subject.

      Even better though, is the idea of using a password manager program, that can generate and remember your passwords for you.

      I've been using one called Lastpass, for a couple of years now and wouldn't be without it.

      - So much so, that I've recently started writing a series about it on my blog ;)

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Rachel, I agree. These are good ideas. Make it personal and it's easier to remember.

      Blessings.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      3 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      You have given me some good ideas about passwords. There were times when I sat here for what seemed like forever trying to think of a good password. The next time I have to change one, I'll have much less of a problem.

      Blessings.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Aren't they the bane of all existence? Just saying.

    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 

      3 years ago from Canada

      Very good ideas on selecting passwords. Passwords and User Names are the bane of my existence.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      A necessary evil, I know. Thanks for the comment.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      I hate passwords! I know they are necessary, but I dislike them. I keep mine in a little black book in a desk drawer. Only my grown children know where they are.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Interesting, informative and helpful. The articles some vital points and gives us some fine tips. Keep on writing. All the best. Shared.

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