Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/195430/how-to-create-a-strong-password-and-remember-it/
Using a password manager helps here, as it can create strong passwords and remember them for you. But, even if you use a password manager, you’ll at least need to create and a remember a password for your password manager.
One great advantage of using a password manager like Lastpass to automatically input your log in ID's and passwords: protection against spoofed sites!
If you are ever directed to a spoofed site that looks real -- you might be fooled into entering your log in credentials -- but not a password manager like Lastpass.
I recently changed my Google account PW and found that it only accepts letters (upper and lower case) and numbers , nothing else!
I like using different passwords based on the same base password and then modify it following a pattern for the different services I use, so I can easily remember them. However, password creation theory is great until you find a service for which you need a password to meet strange specific requirements. Then you need to modify your password so that it complies with that service's policies, surely making it hard to remember the next time you need to log in. Not a problem if you use a password manager, as I do, but a hassle anyways, as I prefer to be able to remember my passwords in case I don't have immediate access to my password manager.
It's also inconvenient for those computer illiterate people who don't know about password managers. So many times I've had to assist my relatives in creating a new account for a second, third, and even fourth time, because they forgot their username and/or password, or worse, they forgot where they had noted those down.
There's actually an easier way to create and remember strong passwords.
- Pick a combination of three letters. Your initials are a little too obvious, but the initials of your first girlfriend/boyfriend probably aren't. Capitalize the first letter.
- Pick a special character.
- Use the first three letters of the website you are visiting. Capitalize the first letter.
- Pick a four digit long number. Again, try not to make it specific to you now. Perhaps the last four digits of the very first phone number you had in your own name, or something similar.
Let's assume my first girlfriend's name was Mary Ann Richards (it wasn't, but this is just an example). My three letter combo would be Mar. I'll close my eyes and hit a random special character: @. My very first phone number ended in 4908. And let's say that I am logging into chase.com: Cha.
My password for this site would be Mar@Cha4908. Plugging that into http://password-checker.online-domain-tools.com/ indicates that the fastest anyone could crack that password would be about two years using a botnet and about 20 million years on a standard desktop PC.
When I use this formula on multiple sites, the three letters for the website change, making this totally unique for that site alone.
I thought I had it all licked using Keypass, but now I am encountering sites which:
1) Have their own rules for which characters may/must be included.
2) Do not permit drag and drop from Keypass or pasting the password from the clipboard.
3) Do not offer the option of viewing what you are typing as you enter a password, including when you are first creating the password.
This makes it extremely difficult to create a strong password that is unique for that site and to store it. It seems counter-productive to me, as it induces users to create short, easy to remember passwords.
Here in New South Wales, a state in Australia, car number plates have six characters that are alpha numeric.
I use the characters on a couple of number plates (or tags as they are knowns in the USA) as my password.
This gives me twelve characters that are easily remembered and by making the first alpha character upper case it makes the password even stronger.
I have owned about ten cars in my lifetime which gives me plenty of combinations of number plates.
I recently changed my Google account PW and found that it only accepts letters (upper and lower case) and numbers , nothing else!****
You either did something wrong on Google's site, or you were on a 'spoof' site. Google uses special characters in passwords.
I'd recommend checking that immediately, if not sooner.
I wouldn't move anywhere without PM (Lastpass in my case) but for those who like desktop PM more, I can reccommend StickyPassword.com, too.
As others suggest, LastPass is a true winner. It'll automatically generate passwords as secure as you like and it'll automatically log you into websites. Highly recommend it.
It's interesting, password managers are one of the hottest new things out there. But it's hard to trust all the zillion new password vendors when there are solid solutions that are already trusted.
Personally I use 1Password, but I used LastPass for a long time. And before the cloud was everywhere, I just used KeePass.
But it's hard to trust all the startup companies out there with your passwords.
everyone has their own method...I use letters so that they make emoticons for passwords
I don't use password manager's for my passwords but i might get around to it someday... My method well I should say methods ( i have two) is using good old TrueCrypt an also images being use as passwords(they are linked as well, in a way)
1st Method: TrueCrypt
I use TrueCrypt to store all my passwords in a encrypted TrueCrypt file on the pc or an encrypted usb stick. And to gain access to the encrypted folder or usb to get the passwords stored in the encrypted file/usb, i just use the password i made for it (pretty simple)
2nd Method: Images
For tie-in with TrueCrypt or any password manager out there.
I have the password saved for my TrueCrypt encrypted file or usb in a jpg/bmp/png/etc image, it could be any photo/wallpaper/etc.
To do this I use Notepad++. Make a backup of the image just in case, right click the image an edit with notepad++, scroll down to the bottom of the edit or stay right up at the top an add in the TrueCrypt password (it has to be at the bottom or the very top of the edit) an then save the edit. Once done open the image normally, an if it shows the image, you have done it right (but if it doesn't,try again or use another image), now just open the image with notepad (or you can still use Notepad++ if you want) scroll to your password and copy an paste it to the encrypted TrueCrypt (or any password manager you use) file/usb an it will open up.
PS i hope you's get this, Im not really good an explaining things to people.
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