How to Create a Password You Can Remember

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12-09-2018, 01:00
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This wikiHow teaches you how to create a password that's secure and unique while still being memorable.

Steps

  1. Know what to avoid. Before figuring out what you want to put in your password, here are a few things that you shouldn't put in your password:
    • Pet, family, or friend names
    • Words as they appear in the dictionary (e.g., "[email protected]" is fine, while "castle" is not)
    • Personal information (e.g., your phone number)
    • Public information (e.g., something having to do with your easily researched extracurricular activities)
    • Acronyms
  2. Know the components of a good password. Including all of the following components in your password will make it very difficult for someone to crack it:
    • Both upper- and lower-case letters
    • Numbers
    • Symbols
    • At least 12 characters
    • Not easily decipherable as a real word or phrase upon first glance
  3. Consider common password strategies. If you don't have your own method of creating a memorable password, you might want to try one of the following:
    • Removing the vowels from a word or phrase (e.g., "Hello darkness my old friend" becomes "hlldrknssmldfrnd").
    • Shifting your hands when typing (for example, using the motion that you'd use to type "wikiHow" with your hands shifted down one row on the keyboard).
    • Using a cipher (e.g., a page number, paragraph line, and word from a book).
    • Doubling your password (e.g., creating a password, typing a space or a separating character, and retyping the password).
  4. Pick a compound word or phrase that stands out to you. You most likely have several words, a phrase, a title (e.g., an album or a song), or something similar that stands out to you for some reason; such words/phrases make great password bases because they're emotionally relevant to you, but not anyone else.
    • For example, you might pick the name of your favorite song from a specific album, or your favorite phrase from a specific book.
    • Make sure that you don't pick a word or phrase that people know you like.
  5. Select a password strategy. You can apply one of the common password strategies mentioned above (e.g., removing vowels), or you can select your own.
    • Some experts even recommend finding several random words and stringing them together without modifying them past that point (e.g., "bananacoffeespoonphonecomfortercat").
  6. Substitute your favorite numbers for letters. If you have a favorite number or two, replace a couple of letters in the password with them.
    • Be sure to avoid using obvious substitutions (e.g., 1 for l, 4 for a, etc.).
  7. Add a character that you like to your password. If you have a favorite character on your keyboard, replace a letter with it, or add it to the beginning of the password to help remember it.
    • Most services require this step when creating a password.
  8. Add an abbreviation for your password's service. For example, if the password is for your work email address, you might add "work email" (or "wrk ml", etc.) to the end of the password. This way, you can use the same base password for most services without repeating the exact password anywhere.
    • It's incredibly important not to repeat your password more than once (e.g., don't use your Facebook password for your email account, etc.).
  9. Consider doubling your password. If your password is only at 8 characters and your selected service (e.g., Facebook) allows for 16 or more characters, simply type the password twice.
  10. Create variations of your password. While adding an abbreviation to the end of your password will help you remember a specific service's password, you'll eventually need to change your passwords altogether. If you're happy with your current password, try typing the password while holding down the ⇧ Shift key, or capitalize random letters.
    • If you replaced any letters with numbers, you might switch back to using letters and use numbers for different letters in the password.

Tips

  • If you say the letters or numbers to yourself as you type them you will begin to get a rhythm; this will help you to memorize it.
  • You might combine several of these methods and still come up with a truly memorable yet very strong passphrase.
  • The most secure passwords contain lowercase letters, capital letters, numbers, and symbols. Make a standard of holding down shift for the first four characters, or characters three through seven, or whatever you like. You won't have to stop and remember
  • When coming up with a mnemonic sentence, try to make the sentence funny or relevant to yourself. That way you will find it easier to remember the sentence and the password.

Warnings

  • Do not use any of the passwords that are shown as examples on this site! Someone might see this too, and might guess yours. Make up your own!
  • Make sure you're not reusing passwords. It may be tempting to only use one or two passwords for all of your logins, but you should have distinct passwords for everything, particularly anything linked to personal or financial information.
  • Do not use any number that is a matter of record, such as phone, address, and Social Security numbers.
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