And using things like your own name, or any word that can be found in the dictionary, or easily memorable combinations like Dancer2016 are not secure at all.
There are app and software password manager solutions such as Lastpass or Dashlane, which I highly recommend. They automatically generate strong passwords for you and keep them in a vault, auto populating the password fields in your browser or on your smartphone.
For a long time I kept a basic Google Doc spreadsheet with all my passwords on it, the problem with that is obviously if a hacker gets to that, they have the keys to my life… So I’ve moved it to an encrypted file on Dropbox, and I’m testing out some of the app solutions I mentioned till I settle on one that I like.
But even if you use a single password manager, you still need a password to get into it! And you might have other individual passwords such as your Apple account or your main mailbox that you might need to remember sometimes. Or perhaps you are traveling, and need to log into a shared computer somewhere.
The trick is to develop a personal little code of your own. I like to transpose the vowels with either numerals or special characters, and then create a short phrase that describes what I’m logging into.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that phrase I want to use is: email for business
Easy to remember, right? Now, let’s apply a little code to it. A lot of sites want you to use a capital letter as well, so we’ll do that with the B in business.
A = @
E = 3
I = 1
O = 0
U = )
for = 4
email for business = 3m@1l4B)s1n3ss
Another way to make it even more secure it is to make one of your words something that is not a proper name or does not appear in the dictionary. Nicknames, or cute names for your pets can work well. Here’s another example using a slightly different code.
Banking for Boopsie
A = ^
E = 3
I = |
O = 0
U = >
S = $
Banking for Boopsie = B^nk|ng4B00p$|3
With a little practice, this becomes easy. You’re not trying to make your brain remember a bunch of different passwords, you’re simply remembering your personal code formula and naming convention. A lot of sites nowadays have a little meter that tells you how secure the password you’re creating is, and generally they want to be at least eight characters long, and contain capital letters, numerals, and special characters.
For any website that stores your credit card or financial information, or logins that are important to your online identity such as email account and social networks, it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution and make sure your passwords are bulletproof.
Good luck and have fun with this![/upme_private]