Tips for Setting a Secure Password That’s Easy to Remember

A strong password is your first line of defense online. But, how do you go about creating a secure password while still remembering it? After all, there’s no point in creating a strong password if you have to reset it every single time you want to login.

Still, creating a strong password isn’t something you’ll want to slack on. Getting hacked is something you’ll never want experience and a strong password is one of the best ways to protect yourself.

Below we go into strategies for creating the strongest password possible (that you can actually remember), and options for tracking your various passwords online.

Traditional Password Creating Advice

Whenever you’re about to set a password you’ll usually come across the following generic password rules:

  • Include 12 characters as minimum
  • Include numbers, symbols, and mixed capitalization
  • Don’t use dictionary words
  • Don’t use obvious word combinations

The recommendations above are a great place to start, but often won’t provide you with the strongest password possible.

If you want an ultra strong password just run your fingers all over your keyboard. This will probably result in an impossible string of numbers and characters. This could be a good result, especially if you get something like hjw8p9GR48F;Ntyn89tgg.878vuO78.

Great, right? Except this is nearly impossible to remember!

If you want to keep your password strength high, while creating something you can actually remember, then try one of the methods below.

Three Methods for Creating Super Strong Passwords

If you want something stronger than what following traditional password advice gets you, then we recommend testing out the methods below.

1. Use Bruce Schneier’s Method

Back in 2008 security expert Bruce Schneier put forth a password method that he still recommends to this day.

His advice is simple, but it works. All you have to do is take a sentence and turn it into a password. You assign each word a series of characters and letters that will help you remember it. The result would look like this.

  • My pet patches is a pug = MYp!P@iSaP?
  • I love peanut butter pretzels = 1<3PnUt.Btt3r.PtZL!

I think you get the gist of it. The more random and strange your series of characters the better. Now, instead of having to remember a string of random letters and numbers, all you have to do is remember a sentence.

2. Choose a Random String of Words

Another method is to create a truly random string of words; this is often referred to as a passphrase. The overall randomness and varying length of words will help make your password strong.

For example, something like “Houses waterloo algebra connie kayak spine tissue earthquake Beyonce toolkit,” would be quite strong. When trying to remember your passphrase, see if you can build a story around the disparate phrases.  

If you’re looking to create a truly random string of words, check out this tool from Diceware. You roll a dice and the numbers that come up correspond to certain words, which you then use for your passphrase.

3. Use an Online Password Generator

If you don’t feel up to creating your own password, then you can use our password tool here at HostGator. This tool will create an incredibly strong password you can use anywhere online.

Password Generator

Remembering and Securing Your Passwords

One of the most important aspects of creating a strong password is never reusing the same password. When you use the same password for multiple platforms you’re leaving yourself vulnerable. If one of those other platforms are compromised, then every other instance of that same password is no longer secure.

When it comes to remembering your passwords, it’s all about repetition. Really hammer the passwords into your head. While you’re still trying to keep track of all your passwords in the beginning, you can write them down on a sheet of paper to refer to. Just make sure you properly destroy it once you have all of your passwords committed to memory.  

If you’re having a hard time remembering your passwords, then keep a secure document that has password hints to help your remember. However, it’s never a good idea to keep a list of all of your passwords and corresponding platforms on file. If a master document like this is ever hacked, or stolen, then every single one of your passwords is vulnerable. Instead, look into secure password management software like LastPass.

Hopefully the tips above will help you craft extra strong passwords to protect yourself online.

Now, over to you. Do you have any secure password tips we didn’t mention above? Share your best tips in the comments below.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.

One thought on “Tips for Setting a Secure Password That’s Easy to Remember

  1. First of all, your passwords need to be different for every site. So you need a formula rather than a single method. Since many sites, in the name of secure passwords, have rules forcing passwords to contain certain features, a super-secure formula is no good unless it satisfies all these sites. So, the passwords need to be:
    1) At least 8 characters.
    2) Contain lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers and special characters.

    Also, since passwords can be stolen, you need to design the password so that if someone steals your password from one site, they don’t have enough to steal it from all sites. I therefore recommend you vary the formula by types of sites (such as banks/credit cards, merchants, and social sites).

    My recommended formula is one that is based off the name of the website, but includes both an easy to remember encryption and additional characters. For example, you can have each letter in the name be the next letter in the alphabet: hostgator becomes iptuhbups. Then you have to add in some numbers: You can start the sequence with the first and last number of the domain name, so now we have 8 for “h” and 18 for “r”, making 818iptuhbups. To get special characters, you can make the vowels into shift 1,2,3,4,5 for a,e,i,o,u in the original name, so the password becomes 818i$tuh!u$s. Capitalize the first letter, and you have a cap: 818I$tuh!u$s. Which bears no resemblance to “hostgator” whatsoever. Now, this can be too short (ebay would become 52%C!z, only 6 characters), so you would need some padding rules, too, but that’s the general idea (mind you, create a different formula).

Comments are closed.