Tips and tricks for remembering passwords, safely

Tips and tricks for remembering passwords, safely

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Passwords are the keys to access almost every task of our daily lives. We depend on well thought out passwords to protect access to our assets and confidential records. Forgetting passwords is a commonly experienced and frustrating contemporary dilemma. Here are some tips to create passwords that are easy for you to remember and really strong from a security viewpoint.

Get really personal

The secret to coming up with a secure password that you’ll easily recall – and is secure - is to base it on a very personal detail, interest or experience of your life. The type of detail that even family or friends may not know about you. A secure password should be at least 8 characters long and a mixture of letters, numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case.

For example, it may be a song lyric that means something to you. Consider “Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone…”.  This could translate to ‘BMusawme’.

Or perhaps a special location where you shared your first kiss. A password could be ‘1stKiss@Movies!!’.

Here are some other password inspirations:

  • Favourite quotation or saying
  • The first sentence of your favourite novel
  • First ingredient of a favourite recipe (for example, ‘2cupsSRflour’)
  • A line from your wedding vows
  • A film title that means something to you.

Make it cryptic

To strengthen your password, consider replacing letters with numerals, or symbols. Taking the above examples, stronger passwords would translate to BMuSawM3& and 1stK155@Movi3$, respectively. If you have a favourite holiday location or favourite capital city, you could use the latitude or longitude. For example Melbourne could be translated to the password – ‘Mel37_8136S’.

Don’t write your password down verbatim

Keeping your passwords scribbled down on a piece of paper, in a notebook, or in your purse or wallet is not safe practice. If you feel you need to write down your password - in case you forget it – adopt the practice that many online subscription or account services do and use a question prompt or hint instead. For example write a prompt, such as ‘Location of my first kiss’ rather than ‘1stKi55@Movies!!’. If your notebook or wallet is stolen, it’s highly unlikely that the thief will be able to guess your password if it is a personal question prompt.

Best practice for keeping passwords safe

Many people use online password keeper vault apps or software to store all their passwords via one master password. Not everyone feels comfortable storing all their passwords online. Perhaps one of the most secure and traditional ways to keep your passwords safe, but accessible if the need arises, is to store them with your Will or Estate papers via your legal professional, or in a security deposit box along with other valuables.

Importantly, never, ever share your password with anyone, no matter what, under any circumstances.

Start your new year with new passwords so you can kick off 2015 feeling secure!

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