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

A strong password is your first line of defense against online hackers. Yet, it’s puzzling how often we reset our passwords because we simply forget our strong passwords. It can leave you frustrated by the entire process.

The easy solution is just to create any old password and hope for the best. However, getting hacked is something you’ll never want to experience because criminals want to steal your credit card information and even your identity.

So, how do you create a secure password while still remembering it? Below we’ll explore strategies for creating the strongest password possible (that you can actually remember).

1. Use Bruce Schneier’s Method

In 2008, security expert Bruce Schneier suggested a new, clever password method. His advice is simple: take a sentence and turn it into a password. First, select a sentence that’s memorable to you. Then, assign each word a series of characters to help you remember it. 

Here are a few examples:

  • My pet patches is a pug = MYp!P@iSaP?
  • I love peanut butter pretzels = 1<3PnUt.Btt3r.PtZL!
  • Try bathing your dog once a day = TbURd1@d

The more random and strange your series of characters the better. So, rather than having to remember a string of random letters and numbers, you’ll just need to remember a sentence.

2. Use a Password Maker Online

Okay, so you don’t have time to create a strong password. Or maybe you’ve run out of ideas on developing your 40th password for the month. 

Well, no worries. You can use HostGator’s password maker to alleviate the stress. In a matter of seconds, you can have a unique alphanumeric password (special characters optional).

hostgator online password maker

With 43% of cyber attacks targeting small businesses, this password maker gives you peace of mind.

Still worried? Review your password selections with a security expert.

3. Try Multi-Factor Authentication

Can you prove who you are twice, please? Multi-factor authentication requires that a person provides at least two pieces of evidence to prove their identity. 

First, you’ll enter your password and then provide proof with something you know, something you have, or something you are. You might be familiar with answering questions about your past residences or car loans. Or as a remote worker, your employer may ask you to download an app on your smartphone and enter an ever-changing number.

“Two-factor authentication will stop most casual attacks dead in their tracks. It’s not perfect, though. A determined attacker who is directly targeting a specific account might be able to find ways to work around it,” says Ed Bott, an award-winning technology writer.

4. Choose a Random String of Words

Hackers don’t just hack for no reason. They have a motive. It’s reported that 71% of breaches are financially motivated. Thieves are attempting to access your bank accounts and credit cards. 

Protect your personal and business accounts by choosing a random string of words as your password. The goal is to use multiple words as well as words of different lengths. 

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 words.  

If you’re looking to create a truly random string of words, check out this passphrase tool. You can choose the number of words, maximum word length, and random capitalization.

5. The Electrum Method

With Bitcoin all the rage, a different kind of password security is necessary. The Electrum Method manages the Bitcoin wallet and requires a 12-word seed to access your Bitcoin addresses. 

You can take the same approach and develop your 12-word phrase. You’ll want the words to be completely random. Don’t use common phrases you learned during your high school literature class. When you’re ready, use this password checker to test whether it can withstand brute force attacks.

Security expert Stefan Topuzov offers a reminder about using public methods:

“The moment a method goes public, ways to break it are also being designed. This is why I referred to passwords as imperfect… The best way to come up with really good passwords is to be aware of the methods used to break them, and opt for a scheme that subverts these methods.”

6. The PAO Method

You’re probably the primary reason why hackers take your passwords. Yes, really. An IBM study uncovered that human error is the main cause of 95% of cybersecurity breaches. The good news is that you can fight back by creating a strong password for your accounts.

The Person-Action-Object (PAO) method is a memorization technique for developing unbreakable passwords that include a long string of numbers. You assign a two-digit number to a person, action, or object. 

Using the chart above, the PAO to remember 861326 would be Prince-Crawling On A Stage-Football. Of course, you’ll want to use PAOs familiar to you.

7. Phonetic Muscle Memory

Lastly, try flexing your phonetic muscle to help you remember your password. Go to our password maker and scan the passwords to find a phonetic structure. 

You want to find passwords that you can sound out in your head. For example, 25XmRbwb may translate into 25 misters be w be.

The goal isn’t to create a real word. Instead, you are seeking to make sense of your random password through sound. That way, it’s easier for you to remember — but appears completely random to other people. 

Remember Your Strong Password

Passwords protect your data from hackers. So, you must create a strong password that you can actually remember. Try one of the above-mentioned tips to secure your digital privacy.

Casey is the Senior Director of Marketing for Hosting and has been in the web hosting space for 7 years. He loves the slopes and hanging out with his kids.

One thought on “7 Tips for Creating Strong Passwords You Can Actually 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).

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