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Hard to Break, Easy to Remember Passwords

Saturday, June 18th, 2005 by | Filed Under: Security Help

We all know that simple passwords are dangerous. If you’re using any of the following for passwords (or forms thereof), you probably aren’t as secure as you think:

  • Names Of Pets
  • Birth date
  • Last 4 digits of your SS#
  • Kid’s Names
  • Grandkid’s Names
  • Parent’s Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone Numbers

Did I catch you? Well, it gets even worse!

Even if you’re not using any of the above, but are still using simple words (like car, bike, etc) for your passwords, you’re accounts are still pretty easy to break into.

Now, a better password looks more like this:


Although some would argue that it’s not necessarily the best password ever, it’s much better than what most people have been using thus far.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “How the heck am I supposed to remember that thing? It’s 17 random letters and numbers!” Read on.

That password is as easy to remember as any other – if you understand how it was constructed:

It’s based off a fictitious Smith family with a daughter named Kelly and a son named Tyler. They have a 2003 Jeep Wrangler and an 02 Chevy Trail Blazer. Now, let’s take those facts and look at the password again:

ks86 – Kelly Smith, born in 1986
jw03 – Jeep Wranger, 2003 model
ts92 – Tyler Smith, born in1992
ctb02 – You guessed it, Chevy Trail Blazer, 2002 model year.

I simply took the first initials of everyone and everything involved, then the year they were born (or built :-). It’s a lot tougher to guess a password like that, but still very easy to remember.

You can follow my example, or make up your own method. In any event, you get a much stronger password that’s a lot harder to crack.


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