With all the websites we log into every day, forgetting passwords can become a hassle. Most of us are guilty of forgetting a password, or using the same password for each login, simply because of the amount of times we have to fill out login forms daily.
Here are a few tips to help you build a more unique and memorable password that will keep your information secure, while making them easier for you to remember.
Ways to Remember Passwords
1. Create a Tip Sheet
McAfee recommends using a tip sheet that offers clues as to what your password might be while avoiding keeping a list of passwords that could be visible to any wandering eye. Never write your password down anywhere anyone else could see it.
However, writing a cryptic clue that only you would understand to jog your memory should you forget your password is okay. That’s OK if the answer wouldn’t be obvious to anyone, of course.
2. If You Write Your Passwords Down, Disguise Them
It could be the first letter of your password followed by a quick hint of what the rest is.
Or it could be something that rhymes with your password.
Maybe it’s just an acronym that could jog your memory.
If you must write down your passwords, at least disguise them in some way.
And, if you do need to write down your password, keep it away from your computer. Some good hiding spots could be among other letters or papers or alongside a list of phone numbers. Just make sure it isn’t so clear that it’s a password. And if possible, don’t include what the password will unlock.
3. Try Using Shortcuts
Using the name of the website or color of its logo as a jumping block can help you create a memorable and secure password. For example, with Facebook, you could use F or FB as the first or last letters in your password.
Another option would be to use it as a trigger. In that case, F could stand for favorite food, and you could base your password around that.
4. Create your own Code
Replacing a few letters with numbers, purposefully misspelling words or using acronyms and abbreviations are great little ‘code’ tricks you can use to make your password more unique and harder to compromise.
Try replacing the same letters with the same special characters or numbers, or just avoiding certain letters altogether. Remember, your password is secret, so no one is going to be checking your spelling.
5. Create a Phrase from a Memorable Sentence
Coming up with a sentence and building an acronym is a great way to create a unique password that will stick in your head. Come up with something that means a lot to you, or an inside joke that makes you smile.
For example: ‘When we where 5 my sister Jessie and I cut our bangs.’ This would become something like Www5m$JaIcob. Notice the addition of a number, as well as capital letters. This helps strengthen your password.
6. Choose Four Random Words
Another option is to create a short phrase out of several random words. Using the entire word but still replacing a few letters with special characters helps heighten security. Choose something silly or memorable, like an inside joke or favorite food, animal and color. Ex. Gr33n-3ggs&P!ggy$-f1y.
7. Use a Base Password
Yaara Lancet over at MakeUseOf created this post that has several tips on creating a memorable and safe password.
One trick is to use a base password that you tweak a bit according to the service. You could add the first letter of the site to the beginning or end of your password, or even spell out the entire name, followed by your base code.
If your base was something like 0r@ng3-k!tt3n$, you could make it unique to your Twitter account by adding Tw!tt3r- to the beginning of your password: Tw!tt3r-0r@ng3-k!tt3n$.
8. Avoid Password Patterns and Common Passwords
Choosing a password like 123456 is pretty much asking for trouble. Don’t fall into this habit. Avoiding common passwords and password patterns can help raise security and, in the end, you’ll have a more memorable and unique password.
9. Choose a Favorite Book, Build your Passwords Based on the First Paragraph you Find
Another way to remember passwords, according to Lancet, is choosing a favorite book and building a password based on that.
Open to a random page, find an interesting word, then add the page number, paragraph number, word number or whatever else you want to add.
Try to choose things you’ll remember, interesting or odd words work best, and don’t forget to play around with the use of letters and special characters in order to make them harder to guess.
10. Build a Password from your Favorite Song
It’s hard to forget your favorite song. These ear worms are sometimes stuck on repeat in our heads, so using them as the basis for passwords could be another option to bolster your online security.
Choose a memorable line or chorus, or pick your favorite album and use the names of your favorite songs or band members. The trick is to use something that’s important to you, while avoiding the easiest solutions like your dog’s name or a birthday.
11. Use a Secure Browser that can Remember them for You
Most Internet browsers nowadays, like Firefox, have a nice feature that allows its users to save usernames, emails, and passwords for logins. Of course, this is something you should only do at home; never on a public or shared computer.
12. Try a Password Manager
Although having all of your passwords in one place might not be the best idea, there are a lot of options for password managers that allow users to safely keep their passwords in a list. Some even allow you to change passwords with a single click, all from the app.
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