“Monkey” is not a good password!

The best passwords are long and contain random letters, numbers and characters. That also makes them hard to remember. Here are some tips to help you commit them to memory.

This is an example of a good password, iwa86DeG&ef%tns. Don’t use this one, though!

To remember a random password like that, break it up into smaller chunks that are easier to remember. Certain combinations of letters seem to have paterns in them, so split it up in a way that the groups of letters are easier to remember. Write each group on a new line.

iwa86DeG&ef%tns becomes

iwa86 – pronounced ‘highway 86’
DeG – letters that rhyme, but you have to remember the first and last are capitals
&ef – ‘and e f’, no particular obvious meaning, but quite easy to remember
%t – ‘percent tax’, maybe
ns – hard to find a way to remember these two, maybe ‘not simple’

Now, don’t try to remember all the groups at once. Make a note of the password in a safe place, maybe your wallet or purse, but don’t label it “my top secret computer password” or anything obvious. Maybe add some letters of your own to the note (the first letters of the words in the first line of your favorite song maybe), so if anyone finds it and tries to use the password, it won’t work.

Then learn the first group of characters, ‘highway 86’ for ‘iwa86’. When you need to enter the password, type ‘iwa86’ from memory, and refer to your written-down password for the rest. Then try to remember the next group, ‘DeG’.

Next time you need the password, enter the two groups you remember, then use the written-down password for the rest, and so on.

This way, you will be able to remember each group in turn more easily than trying to remember the whole thing at once. The more times you type the password, the better you will remember it. And eventually, your fingers will fly around the keyboard without you having to think too hard about what the password is. Try typing in the whole password now, using the groups of characters, then come back tomorrow and see how much of the password you remember already. You might surprise yourself.

Ok, so you remember this crazy password. You shouldn’t use the same password for everything. Although if you’re going to use the same password for everything, it might as well be a good password rather than something like ‘monkey’.

You need different, good passwords for everything. But how will you remember all these crazy passwords? For stuff you do on your computer or phone, you don’t need to remember them all. What you need is a way to have one ‘Master Password’ that you can use to securely store all your other crazy passwords.

Anyone interested in finding out more? If so, leave a comment here, or on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ColinBowenITservices, and I will try to find time to write more on the subject in a series of short posts, leading up to the ultimate solution for storing secure passwords, with one password to rule them all. And it’s free!

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