We all have passwords for many different accounts on the internet, from social media accounts to e-mails and even to log-on to your PC. You probably have various passwords for each one, or maybe you’re the type of person who uses the same password for everything!
I know with my office PC, I’m prompted to change my password regularly for security reasons and sometimes it can be difficult to remember. Here are some tips to keep a memorable and changing password:
Choosing your Word or Phrase
Everyone has a different word for their password mainly because the word means something to them and they will always remember it. So, choose a word that is important to you, or otherwise choose something completely random – as long as you will remember it! Remember: most passwords are a minimum of eight characters.
- Example: EC-MSPitsupport
If you want a more secure password, it is a good idea to think of a complete phrase that you will remember, for example: ‘the dog walked down the road’, then use the first letter of each word for your password: ‘tdwdtr’
If you find it hard to remember words, or phrases, you could use a pattern on your keyboard: 1,2,3,4,5 is an obvious one, but you should rather use a pattern of special characters and letters. However, be aware that patterns that are already on your keyboard, such as ‘qwerty’, are much easier for hackers to find.
Using Numbers & Characters
For security reasons a word that is important to you could be easy to guess and most websites ask for numerical and special characters to be included in a password. When people are asked to add numerical characters most will just add this to the end of their important word, this means the password is still weak as it contains a whole word. For stronger passwords try changing one or two of the letters to a number or special character. Uppercase is also needed in most passwords so it is good practice to change at least one character to an uppercase, or even have a range of upper and lower case letters.
- Example: Pr05yn1t5upporT
For passwords that need to be changed regularly, it can be hard to think of more words that you won’t forget, also with it changing regularly it’s easy to get confused with old and new passwords. Try to keep a relaying number in your password, so each time it is changed the number increases. Or for a PC password if you know your password will need to be changed every 30 days you can add a date reference.
- Example: EC-MSPitsupport – JUN13
Passwords for Different Types of Account
As a general rule you shouldn’t keep the same password for every account you have. Try adding an abbreviation to the beginning or end of your password that relates to the account you are logging into. For example logging into LinkedIn you would add LINK before your generic password. You can also use different passwords for different kinds of websites. For example your banking account password will be a longer more secure password, then you will have a different password for online shopping accounts, and another for social networks. This makes sure that if you are hacked on less secure websites, they will not have access to your more important accounts.
Try changing your password with the following characters: