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How to Create Safe and Secure Password - How to Create One?

How easy is it for you to remember your computer’s Windows log in password? Does it even have one? How about the password you use for your online bank account? Are the two passwords the same or are they different? And how many online services do you use? How many have unique passwords? If you are like most people, who have trouble remembering their phone numbers, how (you might ask) are you supposed to remember all of your different passwords? Why not use the same password everywhere?

The main problem with using the same password for everything is that if someone finds out what your password is, they can potentially log in to your email account as you, and your banking service as you.

What security consultants recommend is that you use a unique password every time you create an account that requires a password to keep it secure. AND DON’T WRITE DOWN YOUR PASSWORDS ANYWHERE!

This is all very well, but if you have to support 40 different systems or log ins it becomes very cumbersome. It would take you a long time to successfully remember a password for each one.  Here is where the strategy comes in.

A Safe Password Strategy

How do you set about creating a secure, safe, memorable but unique password for every service you use? A secure and safe password needs to have these features:
  • It should be a mixture of lower and upper case letters
  • It should contain one or more numbers
  • It should contain a punctuation character
First of all, think of a phrase that you can easily remember. Example: “Barney and Paul are my two kids’ names” – you need your own phrase not this one!

Second, take the first letter of each word in that phrase. Example: BaPamtkn

Third, substitute an ampersand for any use of the word “and”. Example: B&Pamtkn

Now, change to a numeric each number in the phrase or add a number on the end. Example: B&Pam2kn

This is the “base” of your future passwords. Whenever you need a password for a service, start it off with the “base” and then add two letters from the name of the service you are using. Always choose the same two letters for each service, either the first two letters of the name or the first letter of each word in the name.

Examples: American Express might be “AE” or “AM”, Google Mail might be “Go” or “GM”. How you choose which letters is important as that is the only difference between your passwords.

So in our examples, the full password might be B&Pam2knAE and B&Pam2knGo.  How long would it take someone to guess those?

You only have to remember your easily-remembered phrase and you can have a unique password for everything. The qualifier, or suffix you add on the end, is taken from the name of the service you are logging in to. So easy, so unbreakable.

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