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How to create a memorable but unbreakable password for websites?

Published on May 14, 2013, by in General.

There are many, many password generators out there that can create an “unbreakable” password, but it is pretty difficult to remember something like “E4fGT@3dpLO#3″… and off course, writing on a Post-It or leaving it in a .TXT file on your desktop is not really conducive to good protection.

Best Password Application

I have been using LastPass for several months and it is really cool! It keeps tracks of the websites and auto-populates (if you want) the user ID and password. If you have multiple user profiles it recognizes this allows you to choose which one to use!!

When creating new profiles it will generate the “E4fGT@3dpLO#3” password for you… and this is okay IF you continue to use LastPass all the time. The application is portable but if you tend to use the same computers all the time, then well worth it.

I am very impressed with this application and use it all the time.

Best Manually Generated Password

So you rather not use an online application like LastPass because of trust issues or you use multiple computers… then you need to come up with an effective password that can defeat the hackers, but keep you sane with all your websites.

There are many, many ways of doing this, from coming with with phrase, to replacing normal characters with special characters… but what ever you do, do not use personal information!

Here’s my take… take a few random words, numbers AND special characters and memorize them. Then add some unique characters for each website so that you can have a “somewhat” flexible and memorable password. For finance sites, I would have a more secure and different password.

So how do we make make “memorable” password?

Come up with the following:

WORD: Flower, satellite, foxtrot etc.
PATTERN: popqwe, q1e3t5
UNIQUE: TR (TwitteR), FK (FaceBook),

Now put them together in a random order:

Password for Twitter:       TRfoxtrotq1e3t5
Password for FaceBook:  FKfoxtrotq1e3t5
Password for Gmail:          GLfoxtrotq1e3t5

As you can see the passwords are similar and will become very familiar each time you use them.. in fact, you’ll be very surprised how quickly you will learn to love these types of passwords.

Are these fail safe? NOPE! But they are very efficient and will do the purpose for most of us.

What About my Financial Institutions?

We love our money MORE than we love our emails… so make sure that you have something very different for you financial accounts. You can still use the same technique, but intersperse MORE to make it a little more difficult!

Come up with the following:

WORD: water, stamen, bicycle etc.
SPECIAL CHARACTER: $,#,&, SPACE etc.
PATTERN: plkm9i, d3r4g5
UNIQUE: wEf (WellsFargo), baOA (Bank of America) etc.

Now put them together in a random order:

Password for Wells Fargo:                          bicycle $wEf d3r4g5
Password for Fidelity:                                  bicycle $fI d3r4g5
Password for New York Credit Union:  bicycle $nEYCU d3r4g5

 Remember to put a little it of effort into “designing” you password – you only need to do this ONCE but will be using it for a LONG time.

Excel File to Generate Manual Password

So you still think it’s pretty hard? Here’s a quick excel file that you can download and it will help you generate the password for you… but be careful – the password changes each time you update a cell, so be sure to note the password that you like!!

How does it work?

You choose the number of components to include in your password, then the order of those parts.

PasswordGenerator

The list of components are on the right with a random value being generated.

The column in green is where you order the components for your password. Choose the components that you want to make up your password and order them the way you want.

The box in yellow shows the randomly generated password to use.

Remember that the password is temporary so remember to make a note of the one you like best. If you want to change it, press F9 (re-calculate) in the excel file.

Download Password Generator Excel File

The excel file is protected so that only the green cells can be updated so that the formulas are not accidentally changed.

Click here to download the file: brandITsimply – Password Generator

IMPORTANT

I know you wouldn’t, but please do not use any passwords that are displayed in this blog!

If you have a method for creating passwords…. DON’T TELL ME! But let me know if you think that process above would work or if you have a website that your like that generates passwords that our readers would like.

About Tom Joe Finnin

IT professional for over 20 years... currently working at a Fortune 100 company for last 15 years. Love to help people help themselves - let me help you create a web presence quickly and efficiently.

2 Responses

  1. hesscj

    I really love lastpass. Couldn’t do without it. I started using it when my LinkedIn password (which I had used everywhere) was leaked. I use dolphin browser on my android which has a lastpass add-on so that I have it on my phone.

    There have been a number of times when it is more inconvenient because I don’t “know” my password right away but I never have to try to “remember” it because I know where it is. That frees up my mental energy. (as a side note, I’ve had more inconvenience by my Google Authenticator app than lastpass…)

    • I’ve been using LastPass for just over a month and it is GREAT! It does get confused when I switch between Twitter accounts (not a problem for people with only one account) but other than that it is awesome!

      I’ve also been using Google Authenticator and it is a real PAIN and sometimes just does not work for me (at least on my iPhone)… but I am going to persevere since this is my primary email account and really like the dual authentication. Not that I don’t think LastPass would not work, but having multiple tools in your bag is good.. sometimes! :-)

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