Passwords are everywhere these days. You need a PIN for your ATM card, a password for your cell phone voice mail - I even have to have a password to call my mom (just kidding). And that doesn’t even begin to take into account all the computer and online Internet passwords.
I’m going to give you a few tips on how to create a secure password, but one that’s not too difficult to remember.
The first thing you need to avoid is any word that can be found in the dictionary. Let’s take, for example, the name of my website, ThatTechBlog.com. A bad password would be “that” or “tech” or “blog” but a better password would be “thattechblog” since thattechblog is not a word in the dictionary.
But what’s an easy way to make the password thattechblog even more secure without making it too hard to remember? Well, one way is to use some capital letters since most passwords are case sensitive. An easy way would be ThatTechBlog. That’s a little too easy for someone else to guess, however, so a better option would be to capitalize the last letter of each word, like this: thaTtecHbloG.
Now, let’s get a little more sophisticated. What I’ll do now is show you how to replace some of the letters with numbers, but still make it fairly easy to remember. Since a capital E looks like the mirror image of 3 we’ll make that change so now we have thatt3chblog as the more secure password. Other number for letter replacements would make your password look like this: thatt3chb10g. As you can see I’ve replaced the E with 3, the L with 1, and the o with 0 (zero).
To make a password even stronger you may want to insert symbols to replace letters, giving you a password like this: th@ttechb!og.
These examples are all fairly easy to remember and are much more secure than a dictionary word. Here’s another password that is fairly easy to remember, however it is kind of hard to type: rglrrwxgvkif. At this point you may be asking, “How can that password be easy to remember?!” Stop reading right now and take a look at your keyboard and see if you can discover the system.
Did you see what I did? I took each letter from thattechblog and moved one letter to the left on the keyboard. T became R, H became G, etc. Since the A is all the way on the left side you replace it with L, just like you would replace Q with P or Z with M.
Now, if you really want to make a strong password you can combine the above methods and turn thattechblog into rg@Rrwxgv1if. That may be a little complicated just to check your Yahoo email, but for online banking I’d recommend getting a little creative and use one or more of the methods and not just using a password like “money” or something.
It looks like passwords are here to stay, so be creative, have a little fun, and make your online activities more secure.
Passwords are just a small part of computers and the Internet. Mark has more articles about computer problems and solutions on his website.