Technically, you could use the same password for everything that you do online. When creating a password, you could opt for numbers that are easy to remember like dates of special events or choose words that you won’t have to strain your brain to recall (like the names of people, animals, or things that your love). You could use these approaches, but unless you want to make a hacker’s day, you shouldn’t. In a world where people do so much online every day, protective passwords are crucial. Luckily, learning how to create secure passwords is fairly easy. Selecting secure passwords that you can actually remember is a bit trickier, but it can be done.
How to Create Secure Passwords
Hackers have an ever-expanding array of tools and tricks, and a strong password is one of your best defenses. What makes a password secure? A strong password meets the following criteria:
- It is at least eight characters long. Many experts say it should be a minimum of 12 characters.
- It uses an unpredictable mix of uppercase and lowercase letters.
- It includes numbers, special characters, or both.
- It doesn’t consist of words found in the dictionary.
- It doesn’t contain information that could easily be guessed like birthdays, phone numbers, or names.
Ironically, coming up with a password that meets these requirements isn’t that difficult. You could simply drop your hands on the keyboard and let your fingers fall where they may. Unfortunately, while these random passwords are tough to crack, they’re also nearly impossible to remember.
How to Create Secure Passwords That You Can Remember
Although finding a password that is both secure and memorable may seem impossible, it can be done. In fact, there are a few different tricks that you can try, so you can choose the method that works best for you.
The Secret Sentence
Remembering something that makes sense is easier than memorizing something nonsensical, so a good way to create a strong password is to transform something that’s easy to recall into something that appears random to anyone who doesn’t know your secret. One way to do this is to write a sentence or two. Then, string the first letter of each word together to craft a password. For example, you could choose “Where is my umbrella? It is raining cats and dogs today!” Your password would be a hard-to-crack “Wimu?Iircadt!”
Mix It Up
Another strategy for generating memorable passwords involves mixing words. Choose three or more words and jumble them up by listing all of the first letters, all the second letters, all the third letters, and so on until you run out of letters. You can even tack on a number for extra security. Imagine that you decided to utilize the words “frog,” “diction,” and “thunder.” Do you think anyone will guess “3fdtrihocugtnodner” without knowing the words that you used to generate it?
The Person-Action-Object Method
The person-action-object method, sometimes called the PAO method, capitalizes on the fact that the brain tends to remember things better when there is a combination of crazy scenarios and visual, shared cues. To use this method, picture an interesting place, like the beach, a familiar face, like Audrey Hepburn, and a random object, like a book. Then, think of a random action, like dancing. Put these things together to imagine an unexpected story like Audrey Hepburn dancing with a book along the beach. Now, pull letters from the words in your story to produce a password like “AHdanboobea.”
Secure passwords don’t have to be impossible to remember. Using these strategies, you can learn how to create secure passwords that are easy for you to recall, which can help you stay safe when you’re online.
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