I hate those messages “your password will expire in X days” as much as you, but one of the simplest ways to protect ourselves is to keep your passwords as robust ad secret as possible.
I’m not going to repeat what is always reminded:
- Do not write them on paper.
- Do not use the names of your children, pet or your date of birth as your password.
- Do not use only letters.
- Do not use passwords shorter than 6 characters …
.. because we already know all this, right?
So today let’s think about how to devise our own password creation system.
There are third-party applications (some free) that help you manage so many different passwords. But the ideal is to create a proprietary system that allows you to remember them forever, even if you change the passwords regularly.
I remember a friend once told me she used the first letters of each of the words of a saying and this rule is still one of the ones I like the most. Let us see an example: “God helps those who help themselves” would be GHTWHT.
Another type of logic is easy to choose something that you really like, for example music, and remember the name of your favorite band, the lead singer and his favorite song and put them together in a single word, and presto! We have a password: U2BONOONE
Or the name of your favorite writer and his fetish book, if you are into literature: TOMSHARPWILT. Or your first car registration, model and color: 1564ATHA3BLUE
Finally, it is easy to make some alchemy, put words together and create strong passwords that we can update every so often.
Do you have a system of your own to set up and manage your passwords?
Some people like using algebra as “alchemy method”, for instance choose some numbers and establish a formula, then add some letters or symbols.
Just as an example:
a.- Date of birth of a known person: October, the 1st 1967: 19671001
b.- Any telephone number, for instance Panda Security in China: 1058203882
c.- License plate of one relative’s car: T-9336-A
Of course the a, b and c criteria should not have any relationship.
Formula: (a+c)-b = (19671001+1058203882)-9336=1077865547
Then add the letters of the license plate TA1077865547
Of course such a password could be very hard to remember, but anyway there is no need of it, just remember the a, b, c criteria and the formula.
You can play with the number, for instance use only the first and the last three digits TA107547.
Do not try to access to my email account using this password, of course it was just an example.
Pedro, I agree with almost everything you say, it really is a complex, almost unbreakable formula but the date of birth is clearly wrong… 😀