A Simple Way to Create Passwords That You Can Remember

Inevitably, I have the same conversation with a client at least a few times during the duration of our time together – use “good” passwords. I usually get the same response, “I always use good passwords. I just can’t remember them.”

If you are using the same identical password for everything, that’s not good. Period.

How do you handle passwords?

I’ve written in the past about managing passwords with tools, like PasswordBox and Last Pass. I used LastPass for a long, long time before switching to PasswordBox, which I adore. While these tools are great and have their own built in password generators, that doesn’t help you when you are on a public computer, on the road, etc. It’s much easier to remember your password.

I cannot remember one of those long, special character passwords.

Yes. Yes, you can .. and I’m going to show you how.

  1. Pick a two word phrase not affiliated with you and/or your business and your “lucky number.” Using a phrase you use often, makes it all that much easier.
    • Example: Phrase: Sticky wicket | Lucky number: 21
  2. Create a “street” version combining the two words using capital letters
    • The letter “i” becomes 1 or !
    • The letter “s” becomes $
    • The letter “e” becomes 3, and so on.
    • Example: St1ckyW1ck3t
  3. Add in your lucky number with a symbol around it.
    • Example: St1ckyW1ck3t<21>
  4. Add in 2 (or more) characters from the site you are creating this password for.
    • Example: For Facebook: St1ckyW1ck3t<21>FB
    • Example: For Twitter: St1ckyW1ck3t<21>Tw
      Tip #1: For sites where the site name is two or more words, like Facebook, LinkedIn, FoxNews, etc. then those 2 characters are both caps (see the first example above). If the site is one name, like Twitter, then I use one cap, one lowercase (see the second example above).
      Tip #2: Some sites don’t allow special characters, so have a backup plan. I can attest that currently Travelocity doesn’t allow special characters, so I tend to over-rely on PasswordBox after one failed login attempt. In these instances, just remove the special characters.

      • Example: St1ckyW1ck3t21Tvl
  5. Mix it up! Once you have the phrase and number reserved to memory, there’s no real reason to follow a [phrase][symbol][lucky number][symbol][2 characters] pattern. Some examples would be:
    • St1cky<21>W1ck3tFB
    • <21>St1ckyW1ck3tFB
    • FB<21>St1ckyW1ck3t
When all is said and done, that’s not too hard to remember, now is it?

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