How To Create Complicated Passwords That Are Easy To Remember
Working in IT security it is imperative that passwords are made very secure and also changed regularly, let’s face it, kevquirk1234 is much easier to remember than a secure password likeÂ *kLxCTKpxJL9@.Â Neither of these are my passwords by the way (nor are any others in this article).
The second password is similar to the type of password I like to keep though. Personally I manage my passwords with a tool called LastPass, but that’s not what this article is about. A lot of people just like to have a password that is easy to remember for everything. Whilst this is far from the recommended way of doing things, having a single, secure password is much better than having a single, insecure password. So in this article I’ll be explaining how I go about creating secure passwords that are easy to remember.
Creating a good password is all about variety and making it difficult for any would be hackers to guess. So the likes ofÂ abc123, password123 or your nameÂ orÂ date of birthÂ are all easily guessed. Using a variety of lower case, upper case and special characters is the best way to secure a password. So how do we do this, yet keep it easy to remember? Let’s find out…
The first thing you want to do is think of a word that is easily remembered by you, but not easily guessed by others. For example, a first pets name, an old address, even something random by looking around the room. I’m looking around my living room now, I can see my lovely Ubuntu Orange wall, my TV, Xbox and a few other bits and bobs. So the word I’m going to start with is ubuntuorangewall.Â This way, all I need to think about it my living room and I will remember what my password is.
This is already an ok password as it’s very hard to guess. However, it has no numbers, upper case letters or special characters. To fix this, we’re going to substitute some of the letters in my password for upper case letters, numbers and also special characters that resemble the letters they are supposed to be. Some examples I would use are as follows:
i or l = 1 or !
a = @ or 4
o = 0 (zero) or * or ()
e = 3
You get the idea…
Firstly we can add the upper case letters. Keeping it simple, I’m going to make the first letter of every word upper case, so my password is nowÂ UbuntuOrangeWall.Â It’s already much more difficult to work out and therefore much more secure.
Next we add some numbers, as above we’ll substitute the similar letters – so I’m going to change the ‘e’ in ‘Orange’ to a ’3′ and also the ‘ll’ in ‘Wall’ to ’11′. My password has now becomeÂ UbuntuOrang3Wa11.Â See how it still looks very similar to the plain text version but it’s getting more complicated all the time.
Finally we’re going to add some special characters. Again, they’re going to resemble their plain text counterparts. So, keeping it simple, I’m changing all the ‘a’ in the password to ‘@’. Our final password is nowÂ UbuntuOr@n3W@11.Â This password is almost impossible to guess and all I have to think about in order to remember this password is my home. Simple!
To show you how much difference this makes, I ran a typical persons password (kevinq1234) and “UbuntuOr@ng3W@11″ through HowSecureIsMyPassword.net and here are the results:
My New Password
I’m sure you will agree that there is quite a difference between 10 days and 12 trillion years (that’s 12 million, million, million years!). The earth probably won’t even be around by the time that computer has cracked your password.
If you have to regularly change your password, this is also easy.Â We already have our secure password, so when you need to change it again, just add a ’1′ to the end. Next time it needs to be change add ’2′, then ’3′ and so on…
We can even securely remember our password with the password hints field that most websites and operating systems have. You could use something simple like “living room”. Then a few months down the line once you’ve changed your password a few times, your password prompt could be “living room3″ this reminds us that we’re using the secure password with a 3 on the end.
This is the best way I find of creating secure passwords that are easy to remember. Do you have a better way? Why not share it in the comments section.