If you’re one of the millions of people who use the same password all over the Internet then you have to stop doing it right this minute! It’s extremely bad practice and one day you will get hacked, compromised or something else equally painful.
To stop that happening, I will show you how to stop your password being hacked by creating a unique, memorable password formula for each website you visit that requires very little effort on your part.
How to create a memorable password
1) Think of a memorable phrase or word containing more than six letters. Example: pioneergirl
2) If you want you can add a set of numbers at the end to make it even harder to crack. Example: pioneergirl5891
3) Replace letters in the word with numbers. Example: p10neerg1rl
4) When asked to create a password for a new site, change the first (or the last letter) to match the first (or last) letter of the website you’re on and make it a capital letter
So if you’re on Amazon your password will be A10neerg1rl or p1oneerg1rA, and if you’re logging in to Google it will be G10neerg1rl or p10neerg1rG
5) Always mix numbers, capitals, and letters, decide on a formula that works for you, and remember that a phrase is harder to crack than just one word
Some phrases and numbers are a little obvious though. This article on The 30 most popular passwords that were recently stolen from LinkedIn outlines which words and numbers are bad choices.
Ignoring the most common hackable phrases, if you use this system you should never forget your password as you’ll always know your phrase and number combination. One of the letters will always change depending on the name of the website you’re on and, even though a couple of passwords will be the same if the websites both start with the same initial, if one of your passwords gets hacked it won’t turn your day into a nightmare.
Top places people hide their passwords
While we’re at it, according to Lifehacker these are the most common places people hide their passwords:
- Under their keyboard
- Under their phone
- On their monitor
- Under their mouse pad
- In their top drawer
- Under their desk
So don’t ‘hide’ your password on a post-it note in an obvious place. Instead, every time you visit a website take a minute to change your password to match your formula – it will only take a short while and then it’s done forever and you can smugly go about your day.
There are a lot of online password management systems out there such as LastPass which I also use for client passwords as well as my own, but if you have a formula like this then you’re twice as secure.