How to Create a Password

This is something I’ve been meaning to write for a long time, mainly for my family and any other lass-than-savvy Internet users who might read this blog.

These days, you really need to have a strong password. It needs to have numbers and letters. Preferably even symbols and capital letters. Here are some ways to create a strong password that’s still easy to remember:

  • Take a word with an I, A, O, E, or S in it and replace those letters with 1, @, 0, 3, or 5, respectively.
  • Make a pattern on the keyboard. I was perusing a list of 100 common passwords and was surprised that one of my old standbys, 1q2w3e, was not on the list.[1]
  • Spell your name backwards (or your kids’s names or your street, whatever) and put your age or birth date in the middle.

For an even stronger password, capitalize every other letter. Or just the first and last if that’s too annoying to perform.

And since most people have a ton of different websites that they use, and since using the same password for every site you visit is not a good idea, here are a couple of tips:

  • Keep a mental keychain of passwords, some easy, some hard. For basic sites like MySpace or Facebook, a simple password is fine, but if you’re logging into your bank account or anything involving your credit card, you want that password to be as tricky as possible.
  • If you only want to use one password, then alter it slightly for each use by adding the initials of the website at the beginning or end of your password (preferably in caps for extra safety). So if your standard password were 1q2w3e, then you might use 1q2w3eMS to log into MySpace.

1.) Please don’t try to hack any of my accounts with this password. I haven’t used it for anything in years.